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Full text of "The battle of Harlem Heights"

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HALF MOON SERIES ^ ^ 



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EDITED BY 

MAUD WILDER GOODWIN 
ALICE CARRINQTON ROYCE 
RUTH PUTNAM AND 
EVA PALMER BROWNELL 



Vol 




. II.. No. 10. October, 1898. y OCT 1^, 



ZTbe Battle of Ibatlem 
IbeiGbts 



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MtlUam 1R. Sbepber^ pb.D. 



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Copyright, 1898, by 

O. p. PUTNAM'S SONS 
New York London 

Ube ■Rnicftetboclec press, New Rochelle, N. Y. 

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I 



THE BATTLE OF HARLEM HEIGHTS 



345 



■^- 



Half Moon Series 

Published in the Interest of the New York 
City History Club. 



Volume II. Number X. 



THE BATTLE OF HARLEM HEIGHTS. 



By WILLIAM R. SHEPHERD, Ph.D. 



547 



ANY event in the Revolution that made a 
distinct contribution to the estabhsh- 
ment of independence has its share of in- 
terest to the patriotic American ; but the 
"affair" ' at Harlem Heights has a general im- 
portance, colored with a local interest, which 
specially merits our attention and admiration. 
Its general importance is attested by the fact 
that, coming as it did immediately after the 
calamity on Long Island, it served as a prelude 
to the brilliant exploits at Trenton and Prince- 
ton ; while its local interest is clear, when we 
remember that it was the only contest within 
the limits of Greater New York that resulted 
in a victory for the Americans. The battle of 
Harlem Heights, therefore, has a peculiar 
charm to the citizen of the metropolis. Gaz- 
ing at the very ground on which it was fought, 
as he traces from one landmark to another 



Xocal 

Untcicst 

of tbe 

JSattlc 



348 



Zbc Battle ot Ibarlem IbeiGbts 



Ube 
S)cfcncc 
of "new 



the course of the struggle, he may reflect 
with honest pride that here, within the pre- 
cincts of his own city, occurred what Wash- 
ington was pleased to term a " success . . . 
productive of salutary consequences," " — once 
more a Concord and Lexington which "ani- 
mated our troops, gave them new spirits," 
and enabled them "with inferior numbers to 
drive their enemy, and think of nothing . . . 
but conquest." ' 

In January, 1776, two months before the 
British evacuated Boston, the question arose 
whether an effort should be made to hold 
New York. — probably their next objective 
point of attack. Although apparent that the 
insular position of New York with its belt of 
navigable waters bore out the truth of Charles 
Lee's assertion that whoever commanded the 
sea must command the city,* still, if a Declara- 
tion of Independence was to be issued and 
its assertion of rights made good, the abandon- 
ment of New York, merely on the plea of 
difficulty in fortifying it, would have been a 
serious mistake. Even if the city could not 
be made impregnable, a brave show of resist- 
ance might deter the British from atteinpt- 
ing its capture, or at any rate "give them," 
says a blunt patriot, "a scrag which they 
would not relish very well,"' before a capture 
could be effected. 

In order to confine the British water control 



Ubc JBattlc ot Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



349 



to the harbor and the mouth of the Hudson 
River, the East River — the key of the American 
position — was fortified along both banks at 
various points from the Battery to Hell Gate. 
The water front on the south and west also 
was protected by batteries on the shore and 
barricades in the streets ; while to the north 
of the city other fortifications were constructed 
along the line of the present Grand Street, to 
ward off an attack from that quarter. Then to 
command the Hudson, as well as to cover a 
possible retreat by way of Kingsbridge, Fort 
Washington was built a little to the south- 
west of the Washington Bridge, and connected 
with Fort Lee on the New Jersey shore by a 
series of stone-laden boats fastened with 
chains, and sunk as an obstruction to the 
enemy's ships. A few hundred feet north of 
West One Hundred and Ninetieth Street, over- 
looking the Harlem River, was erected a re- 
doubt which the British later called Fort 
George. On the mainland also, beyond Spuy- 
ten Duyvil Creek, and on what is now Giles' 
Place west of Sedgwick Avenue, Fort Inde- 
pendence was constructed to hold the ap- 
proaches to Kingsbridge. 

England had regarded the campaign around 
Boston as a mere preliminary indicative of 
the resistance likely to be offered by the Ameri- 
cans. Hence it is probable that the British 
change of base from Boston to New York was 



defence 

of IRew 

13orh 



35° 



XTbe Battle ot Ibarlem t^cigbts 



Condition 
of tbc 

Oppoeing 
Brmics 



prompted as much by motives of strategy as 
by the pressure of the American besiegers. 
New York henceforth was to be the centre of 
British operations, and here the war began in 
earnest. Late in June, 1776, appeared the first 
signs of the coming occupation. Within seven 
weeks over four hundred vessels and thirty 
thousand troops under the command of Gen- 
eral Howe were in New York harbor, the lat- 
ter being encamped on Staten Island. To 
oppose this huge array — as mighty a military 
and naval armament as England had ever sent 
upon foreign service — Washington had less 
than twenty thousand effective men. Some 
of these were fairly armed and equipped, but 
many of them, farmers fresh from the plough, 
had hardly any other weapons than a spade 
or pick-axe, or possibly a scythe made straight 
and fastened to a pole. Undaunted however 
by the overwhelming odds, on July 2, Wash- 
ington addressed to his army the stirring ap- 
peal that follows : 

"The fate of unborn millions will now depend under God 
on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and 
unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance 
or the most abject submission. This is all we can expect. 
We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. Our 
country's honor calls upon us for a vigorous and manly 
exertion, and if we now shamefully fail we shall become 
infamous to the whole world. Let us, therefore, rely upon 
the goodness of the cause and the aid of the Supreme Being, 
in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to 



Ube Battle ot Ibarlem ibeiabts 



351 



great and noble actions. The eyes of all our countrymen 
are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings and 
praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them 
from . tyranny."^ 

Not only does this appeal seem to have had 
the desired effect upon the army in general, 
but, in particular, "never did people in the 
world act with more spirit and resolution than 
the New Yorkers." ' A part of the enthusiasm 
was manifested a week later in pulling down 
the gilded equestrian statue of King George 
near the junction of Broadway and Bowling 
Green, and in sending the pieces to Connecti- 
cut, where patriotic women converted them 
into bullets for the American army.' 

The personality of Washington and the 
magnetic influence he exercised over his 
soldiers were well known to General Howe. 
If he could capture the rebel leader the war 
would indeed be ended in the single cam- 
paign which boastful British officers declared 
was sufficient. A direct attack on the centre 
and right of the American position — 7. e., 
Governor's Island, the Battery, and the fortifi- 
cations facing the Hudson River — would prob- 
ably be successful ; but, besides entailing 
serious loss on the aggressive party, might 
accomplish no more than the withdrawal of 
the Americans to the heights in the north of 
Manhattan Island, whence Kingsbridge furn- 
ished an easy escape. Several schemes of 



IKlasbs 
ington's 
Bppeal 
to bie 
Brm:e 



352 



XLbc Battle of Ibarlem IT^eiobti 



Ube 
Satttc 
of Xcng 
Island 



outflanking, therefore, suggested themselves 
to Howe's mind, the most feasible being to 
assail the American left wing, then stationed 
on Long Island. The defences of Brooklyn 
once broken through and the forts along the 
shore silenced, the fleet could sail up the East 
River and, in conjunction with the army, cut 
off Washington's retreat on the north. The 
haughty Virginian rebel, who declined to re- 
ceive from his Majesty's commissioners any 
communication addressed simply " George 
Washington, Esq.,"* would then be caught 
like a rat in a trap. Accordingly, on August 
22, with fifteen thousand troops the British 
commander crossed the Narrows to Graves- 
end Bay, and took possession of the villages 
on the flatlands where he was soon joined by 
five thousand Hessians. For several days the 
armies lay over against each other with no 
more hostile demonstration than an occasional 
skirmish. South of the American lines at 
Brooklyn, and extending eastward from New 
York Bay, was a low range of densely wooded 
hills that served as a huge natural barrier to 
the approach of an enemy, and could be vig- 
orously defended. Four roads led through 
depressions in this range, three of which were 
strongly guarded, but at the fourth, known as 
the "Jamaica Pass," only five mounted pickets 
had been stationed. On the night of August 
26, the British stealthily advanced to the 



XTbe Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



353 



" Pass/' captured the pickets, and ere an 
alarm could be given fell upon the astounded 
Americans and routed them with a loss of 
over eleven hundred. Happily, however, the 
British had not forced the American lines, 
otherwise, outnumbering as they did their 
opponents nearly three to one, the entire 
patriot army on Long Island must have sur- 
rendered. Two nights later, Washington 
effected his masterly retreat to New York. 
Leaving his camp-fires ablaze and a few pick- 
ets posted so as to lull suspicion, the army of 
nine thousand Americans marched to Fulton 
Ferry and crossed in safety, the only accident 
being the loss of a boat with four stragglers. 
If the Americans had been outflanked the 
British had been outwitted, and some conso- 
lation at least might be derived from that fact. 
Yet, however courageous the resistance and 
brilliant the retreat, the immediate result of 
the battle of Long Island was deplorable. No 
one more than Washington realized it, for in 
his letter to Congress, September 2, he says: 

" Our situation is truly distressing. The check . . . sus- 
tained on the 27th ultimo has dispirited too great a propor- 
tion of our troops, and filled their minds with apprehension 
and despair. The militia, instead of calling forth tneir ut- 
most efforts to a brave and manly opposition in order to 
repair our losses, are dismayed, intractable, and impatient to 
return. Great numbers of them have gone off ; in some 
instances almost by whole regiments, by half ones, and by 
companies at a time." 



'Qtnasbs 
(ngton'8 
IRetceat 
from 
Xong 
Hsland 



354 



ILbe Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



■Cbe 
tReeult 
of tbe 
3BattIe 
of long 
'Osland 



An absolute disregard of "that order and 
subordination necessary to the well-doing of 
an army " made his situation all the more 
alarming, and evoked from him the sorrowful 
statement: 

" With the deepest concern I am obliged to confess my 
want of confidence in the generality of the troops. . . . 
Till of late I had no doubt in my own mind of defending 
this place [i. e., New York], nor should I have yet if the 
men would do their duty, hut this I despair of. It is pain- 
ful and extremely grating to me to give such unfavorable 
accounts, but it would be criminal to conceal the truth at 
so critical a juncture." '" 

Indeed it was found necessary to establish 
guards at Kingsbridge and other points to 
stop the deserters, especially those with arms 
and ammunition. One incident will serve to 
illustrate the simple character of the average 
militiaman. The guard brought to a halt a 
ragged fellow who was carrying something 
in a bag. The something proved to be a can- 
non ball which, he explained, he was taking 
home to his mother to pound mustard seed! " 
Yet give these rustic soldiers a little longer 
time in the army, render them accustomed to 
the din of warfare, and the skittish militia, 
for whom the Continental regulars evinced 
such utter contempt, would soon be found 
among the bravest defenders of their country. 
At this moment, however, Washington felt 
that he could place no reliance on an army 



Ubc 36attle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 



355 



composed largely of such material, and reluc- 
tantly began to consider the advisability of 
evacuating Manhattan Island, at any rate south 
of Harlem Heights. Here an energetic stand 
might be made, for Washington had no inten- 
tion of doing what Lee later proposed, — to 
"give Mr. Howe a fee simple"" to New 
York, without a struggle. From several of 
his officers came the suggestion to burn the 
city, but fortunately this piece of useless de- 
struction was averted by the prudent modera- 
tion of Congress. In reply to Washington's 
query on this point, Congress declared that 
the city be left intact; for, even "though 
the enemy should for a time obtain pos- 
session of it," eventual recovery was cer- 
tain." At length, September 12, it was 
resolved to withdraw the army to Harlem 
Heights, a sufficient number only of men being 
left to keep guard over the approaches from 
the East River, while Putnam superintended 
the removal of stores and munitions. Hence 
at the foot of the present Grand Street (then 
Corlaer's Hook), East Twelfth Street, East 
Twenty-third Street, and East Thirty-fourth 
Street (then Kip's Bay), were entrenched 
several brigades of militia. Also at various 
points as far north as East Eighty-ninth Street 
(then Horn's Hook) was posted a line of sen- 
tinels who half-hourly passed along the cheer- 
ing watchword, "All 's well," to which the 



fcrawal to 
■ffjarlem 
Ibeigbts 



556 



Ube 3Battle of Ibarlem IbeiGbts 



Ubc 
ffidtisb 
Xan^ at 

lkip'8 

38ac 



British sailors, who could distinctly hear the 
call from their ships in the river, derisively re- 
sponded, "We will alter your tune before 
to-morrow night." '* 

Two days later Washington set up his head- 
quarters at the Roger Morris (now Jumel) " 
Mansion, still standing on One Hundred 
and Sixty-first Street, east of St. Nicholas 
Avenue, and in one day more the removal of 
men and munitions would have been com- 
plete. Meanwhile several ships of war had 
forced their way up the East River, in spite 
of the steady fire from the American batteries 
on the Manhattan shore ; but it was not until 
September 1 1, that the British effected a land- 
ing on Montresor's (now Randall's) Island, 
and on Buchanan's (now Ward's) Island, with 
the manifest intention of crossing to Harlem 
and of advancing upon the city from the 
north. Washington had anticipated this 
move by the prompt withdrawal to Harlem, 
and, as the powerful American battery at 
Horn's Hook had not been silenced, Howe 
decided to debark his troops at Kip's Bay. 
On Sunday, the fifteenth, under a furious 
cannonade from the frigates, the British regu- 
lars landed and drove the American militia in 
wild confusion from their entrenchments. 
The half-humorous description of the en- 
counter related by a participant on the Ameri- 
can side shows the situation exactly : 



XLbe Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



357 



"At daybreak," he says, "the first thing that saluted 
our eyes was . . . four ships at anchor . . . within mus- 
ket-shot of us. . . . They appeared to be very busy on 
shipboard, but we lay still and showed our good breeding 
by not interfering with them, as they were strangers and 
we knew not but they were bashful withal ! As soon as it 
was fairly light we saw their boats coming, . . . filled with 
British soldiers. When they came to the edge of the tide, 
they formed their boats in line. They continued to aug- 
ment these forces . . . until they appeared like a large 
clover field in full bloom. ... It was on a Sabbath 
morning, the day in which the British were always em- 
ployed about their deviltry, because, they said, they had 
the prayers of the church on that day. We lay very quiet 
in our ditch waiting their motions till the sun was an hour 
or two high. We heard a cannonade at the city, but our 
attention was drawn to our own guests. But they being a 
little dilatory in their operations, I stepped into an old 
warehouse which stood close by me with the door open in- 
viting me in, and sat down upon a stool ; the floor was 
strewed with papers which had in some former period been 
used in the concerns of the house, but were then lying in 
woful confusion. I was very demurely perusing these 
papers when, all of a sudden, there came such a peal of 
thunder from the British shipping that I thought my head 
would go with the sound. I made a frog's leap for the 
ditch and lay as still as I possibly could, and began to con- 
sider which part of my carcass was to go first. The British 
played their parts well ; indeed they had nothing to hinder 
them. We kept the lines till they were almost levelled 
upon us, when our officers, seeing we could make no re- 
sistance, and no orders coming from any superior officer, and 
that we must soon be entirely exposed to the rake of the 
guns, gave the order to leave the lines. In retreating we 
had to cross a level clear spot of ground, forty or fifty rods 
wide, exposed to the whole of the enemy's fire ; and they 
gave it to us in prime order ; the grape-shot and langrage 



2)e8cr(p3 
tion of 
tbc Ens 
counter 
at Ikip's 
]Bav> 



358 



Ube Battle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 



©escripa 
tlon of 

tbc Ens 
counter 

at Ikip's 



flew merrily, which served to quicken our motions. When 
I had gotten a little out of the reach of their combustibles 1 
found myself in company with one who was a neighbor of 
mine when at home, and one other man belonging to our 
regiment ; where the rest of them were I knew not. . . . 
We had not gone far (along the highway) before we saw a 
party of men apparently hurrying on in the same direction 
with ourselves ; we endeavored hard to overtake them, but 
on approaching them we found that they were not of our 
way of thinking ; they were Hessians ! We immediately 
altered our course and took the main road leading to King's 
bridge. We had not long been on this road before we saw 
another party just ahead of us whom we knew to be Ameri- 
cans ; just as we overtook these they were fired upon by a 
party of British from a cornfield, and all was immediately in 
confusion again. 1 believe the enemies' party was small ; 
but our people were all militia, and the demons of fear and 
disorder seemed to take full possession of all and everything 
on that day. . . . They did not tarry to let the grass grow 
much under their feet." " 

But the ordeal was something which even 
veteran troops could not have withstood. 
"The fire of the shipping," wrote General 
Howe to Lord Germain, "being so well di- 
rected and so incessant, the enemy could not 
remain in their works and the descent was 
made without the least opposition." " This 
statement of the British commander will go 
far to extenuate the conduct of the militia, 
disheartened as they were by the disaster on 
Long Island, and terrified by the swarms of 
British troops as well as by the thunderous 
roar from the frigates. Then, too, the know- 
ledge that their countrymen were safe at Har- 



Zbc Battle ot Ibaclem Ibeiabts 



359 



lem Heights was no small incentive to rapidity 
in flight. The Americans stationed at East 
Twenty-third Street soon joined them, and 
together they hastened along the Kingsbridge 
road (Lexington Avenue). 

As soon as the boom of cannon reached his 
ears, Washington mounted his horse and sped 
along the four miles intervening between Har- 
lem and the scene of action. Near Park Ave- 
nue and Fortieth Street, what were his horror 
and consternation to behold the Americans 
flying in all directions, while scarce a half mile 
away the dust was rising under the feet of the 
pursuing British and Hessians. Riding ex- 
citedly into the midst of the runaways, he 
shouted: "Take to the wall! Take to the 
cornfield ! " Beside himself with wrath and 
mortification at seeing his commands dis- 
obeyed, he lashed the fugitives with his riding- 
whip, flung his hat upon the ground, and cried 
in accents choked with passion, "Are these 
the men with whom I am to defend America ? " 
Indeed so blind was he to all sense of danger 
that, had not one of his attendants seized the 
bridle of his horse and turned the animal's 
head in the opposite direction, the Revolu- 
tionary War might have terminated then and 
there." Regaining his self-possession, the 
commander-in-chief permitted the demoral- 
ized militia to continue their stampede toward 
Harlem Heights, although in his report to 



IRetceat 
from 
Tktp'e 



360 



Zbc JBattle ot UDarlem Ibeigbts 



"IRetreat 
from 

Ikfp's 
36a^ 



Congress he did not fail to denounce their 
conduct as " disgraceful and dastardly." '" He 
then ordered the immediate retreat of Putnam. 

The story of how Mrs. Mary Murray, wife 
of Robert Murray, whose farm included most 
of the "commanding height of Inclenberg " 
(now Murray Hill), entertained the British 
generals so hospitably that Putnam and most 
of the remnants of the patriot army still in the 
city managed to elude the enemy and gain the 
heights in safety, is too well known to bear 
repetition." Suffice it to say that the cake 
and wine and geniality of this lady, who re- 
sponded with rare tact and good humor to the 
bantering of the British officers on her rebel 
sympathies, as effectually "bowed "her guests 
"at her feet" — for a while at least — as the 
hammer and tent-nail of Jael, the wife of Heber 
the Kenite, had done in detaining Sisera, the 
captain of the Canaanitish host, when "he 
asked water and she gave him milk," when 
" she brought forth butter in a lordly dish." 

After having completed their debarkation, 
the Britisih drew up their lines across the 
island from the foot of East Eighty-ninth 
Street to the foot of West Ninety-sixth Street, 
or Striker's Bay as it was then called, the 
pickets being stationed between that street 
and West One Hundred and Fifth Street. 
Gen. Howe's headquarters were at the Beek- 
man mansion " (Fifty-first Street and First 



TLbc Battle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 



?6i 



Avenue), while Sir Henry Clinton took up 
his residence at the Apthorpe house (Ninety- 
first Street and Columbus Avenue). And in 
general this was the position of the British for 
nearly a month. Of the two positions, how- 
ever, that of the Americans was the stronger. 
Beginning at Washington's headquarters, One 
Hundred and Sixty-first Street, the camp ex- 
tended southward to the "Hollow Way," or 
the valley now comprised between West One 
Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street and West 
One Hundred and Thirtieth Street, through 
the centre of which runs Manhattan Street. 
At the eastern end of this depression was a 
rugged spur called the "Point of Rocks" 
(One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Street and 
Columbus Avenue), used by the Americans as 
a lookout station, whence Harlem Plains could 
be surveyed as far as McGowan's Pass ; 
while the western portion terminated in a 
round marshy meadow known as Matje 
David's Vly, a little to the south of Fort Lee 
ferry. With the Hudson on the right, the 
valley in front, the plains on the left, and 
the rear protected by Fort Washington and 
the troops at Kingsbridge, the whole well 
screened by woods and thickets, the Ameri- 
cans could feel that the addition of a few 
redoubts and entrenchments would make 
these natural fortifications impregnable. Ac- 
cordingly three parallel lines of defensive 



Ube 

B)osition 

of "Cdasbs 

ington'6 

BrmB 



36: 



Xlbe JBattle of IfDarlem Ibeiobts 



Ube 

Effect 

of tbc 

Sncounter 

at lkip'9 



works were constructed between One Hun- 
dred and Forty-seventh Street and One 
Hundred and Sixty-tlrst Street, while a divi- 
sion of soldiers under Greene was posted near 
the southern edge of the heights overlooking 
the "Hollow Way," to guard against an 
assault from that direction. 

The unfortunate issue of the encounter at 
Kip's Bay made precisely the same impression 
upon the minds of British and Americans as 
had the battle of Long Island ; the former it 
confirmed in their belief of absolute superiority, 
the spirits of the latter it depressed until 
many had lost practically all confidence in their 
officers and in themselves. For the moment 
even nature seemed intent upon rendering 
their lot still harder to bear. The well housed 
and equipped soldiers of the king were in 
forcible contrast to the poorly provided soldiers 
of the republic, who, says Colonel Humphreys, 

"excessively fatigued by the sultry march of the day, their 
clothes wet by a severe shower of rain that succeeded to- 
wards the evening, their blood chilled by the cold wind that 
produced a sudden change in the temperature of the air, and 
their hearts sunk within them, ... lay upon their arms 
covered only by the clouds of an uncomfortable sky." ^'^ 

But amid all the gloom and depression the 
leader of the American army never lost his 
faith in the ultimate courage of the American 
soldier, however much the timidity of the 
militia aroused his indignation. His power 



XTbe Battle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 



?>(>2> 



of keen discernment showed him, further, that, 
if a fortified camp was a haven of refuge to a 
soldiery hard pressed by the enemy, so also it 
might be a tower of strength wherein the 
very sense of security would inspire the 
former fugitives with a zeal for action, and, by 
giving them an opportunity to display their 
native courage, aid them to regain the con- 
fidence which before had failed them. Under 
such circumstances Washington might well 
say, " I trust that there are many who will act 
like men and show themselves worthy of the 
blessings of freedom."" Appreciating the 
strength of his position, he determined "to 
habituate his soldiers by a series of successful 
skirmishes to meet the enemy in the field." 
This determination was realized in the battle 
of Harlem Heights. 

Sloping upward from the southern line of 
the " Hollow Way " was another elevation of 
land, then known as Bloomingdale or Vande- 
water's Heights, and now called Morningside 
Heights. In 1776, it was occupied and partly 
cultivated by its owners, Adrian Hoaglandt 
and Benjamin Vandewater. The space of 
land about a mile in extent between the 
present One Hundred and Fifth Street and 
One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street, west 
of Columbus Avenue, was the "debatable 
ground," and the scene of the battle of Har- 
lem Heights. It effectually hid the opposing 



Ube 

Debatable 

(Broun^ 



364 



Xlbe Battle of Ibarlem IbeiQbts 



Ube 
IRangers 



forces from each other. Now, whereas an 
advance of the British from the direction of 
Harlem Plains could be easily observed by 
the American lookouts on the "Point of 
Rocks," no movement from behind Morning- 
side Heights would be perceptible before the 
"Hollow Way" had been reached. It was 
not to be supposed that an enemy flushed 
with success in the recent campaign would 
long hesitate to assail the American strong- 
hold. Desirous of guarding against a flank 
attack, especially from the vicinity of Morn- 
ingside, early in the morning of Monday, 
September 16, Washington sent a body of 
scouts to ascertain what preparations the 
enemy were making. He himself then rode 
from headquarters down to the outposts at 
the " Hollow Way." The men selected were 
the Rangers, consisting of about one hundred 
and twenty picked volunteers from New Eng- 
land regiments, and under the command of 
Colonel Thomas Knowlton, who had done 
gallant service at the battle of Bunker Hill. 
Proceeding cautiously under cover of the 
woods, probably along the line of what is 
now Riverside Drive, Knowlton and his men 
had arrived at the farmhouse of Nicholas Jones 
(One Hundred and Sixth Street, west of the 
Boulevard) before the British pickets stationed 
on One Hundred and Fourth Street were 
startled by the report of shots fired at close 



Ube Battle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 



365 



range, and spied the forms of the Americans 
through the trees." The alarm was instantly 
sounded, whereat a portion of the second and 
third battalions of light infantry, numbering 
upwards of three hundred, started to drive 
back the audacious rebels. In gleeful expect- 
ation that this second installment of Kip's 
Bay militia, as they thought, would fly from 
before them with the utmost terror and dis- 
may, the British regulars hurried on. But 
suddenly they were brought to a stop. Upon 
falling back a short distance, Knowlton had 
posted his men behind a stone wall and bid- 
den them " not to rise or fire a gun " till the 
British were ten rods away. Scarcely had 
the first redcoat crossed the "dead line," 
when a blaze of fire shot from the stone wall, 
and the astounded infantry fell back in dire 
consternation. Then for some time the woods 
echoed with the sharp crack of musketry in a 
skirmish. At length Knowlton, perceiving 
that the superior numbers of the foe menaced 
his flank, commanded a retreat, which was 
effected in good order and without the loss 
of a man." 

Meanwhile a rumor spread through the 
American camp that the enemy were ap- 
proaching in three columns, whereupon Adju- 
tant-General Reed obtained permission from 
the commander-in-chief to learn its truth. 
Riding hastily from the "Point of Rocks" in 



Ube 

IRetrcat 

of tbe 

tRangers 



366 



Ube JBattle of Ibarlem IbeiGbts 



Ube 
IRctreat 

of tbe 
IRangers 



the direction Knowlton had taken, he reached 
the scene of skirmish as it was about to be- 
gin. "While I was talking with the officer," 
he writes, "the enemy's advanced guard fired 
upon us at a small distance; our men behaved 
well, stood, and returned the fire till, over- 
powered by numbers, they were obliged to 
retreat." He further states that the British 
came on so quickly that he had not left a 
house (probably Hoaglandt's, One Hundred 
and Fifteenth Street and Riverside Drive) five 
minutes before they had seized it. The light 
infantry continued the pursuit through the 
fields and woods of Hoaglandt's farm as far 
as the immediate neighborhood of Grant's 
tomb. The sight of the scampering rebels 
restored the gleefulness which they had 
lost near the stone wall, and, advancing 
within plain view of the Americans on the 
heights beyond, they derisively "sounded 
their bugle-horns, as is usual after a fox- 
chase." The insult showed the contempt in 
which their adversaries held the Americans, 
who three times within three weeks had fled 
before his Majesty's regulars, — once on Long 
Island, once at Kip's Bay, and now on the 
heights just opposite their own camp. "1 
never felt such a sensation before," says Reed; 
" it seemed to crown our disgrace." " 

The appearance of the enemy produced the 
natural impression that Harlem Heights were 



Ubc Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



367 



to be carried by storm. Preparations were, 
therefore, being made for a vigorous defense, 
when Reed dashed up to the commander-in- 
chief, "to get some support for the brave 
fellows who had behaved so well." " With 
characteristic caution, however, Washington 
declined at first to hazard his men until exact 
information of the British strength and posi- 
tion could be obtained. For the present he 
felt that a weakened and somewhat despond- 
ent army was hardly capable of engaging 
advantageously in a general conflict. At this 
juncture Colonel Knowlton and the Rangers 
brought the news that the enemy were about 
three hundred strong, and detached more 
than a mile from the main body. Washing- 
ton now saw his opportunity to cut off this 
detachment ere it could be reinforced from 
below, and thereby, as he says, to "recover 
that military ardor which is of the utmost 
moment to an army." " If a general engage- 
ment could not be risked, a lively and suc- 
cessful skirmish would furnish the very tonic 
of energy and enthusiasm then so sadly need- 
ed. Still the American commander realized 
that an attack wholly in front would not only 
involve the ascent of the steep Morningside 
Heights, from the top of which the well- 
posted British could pour a galling fire, but 
might result in no more than driving them 
back upon the main body — a contingency he 



■Zbe 

IRetreat 

of tbe 

tRangers 



368 



Zbc ^Battle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 



Httempt 

to fall 

upon tbe 

3Enemv!'s 

"IRear 



wished most to avoid. Curiously enough, 
however, this was the very thing that 
eventually happened, although not with the 
consequences he had anticipated. The con- 
summate soldier, who had learned the art of 
stratagem from many an Indian adversary in the 
tangled forests of Virginia and Pennsylvania, 
resolved to make a feint in front, while a body of 
picked men should stealthily creep round to 
the left and fall upon the enemy's rear. For 
this purpose he chose about two hundred vol- 
unteers, consisting of Knowlton and his Rang- 
ers, together with three companies of Virginia 
riflemen under the command of Major Leitch. 
Starting from their position near the grounds 
of the present Convent of the Sacred Heart, 
One Hundred and Thirtieth Street and Con- 
vent Avenue, Knowlton and Leitch, accom- 
panied by Reed, made their way diagonally 
down the slope, across the now intervening 
numbered streets and Amsterdam Avenue, 
near its junction with Manhattan Street, and 
proceeded toward a rocky ledge, not far from 
One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Street and 
the Boulevard. If once they reached this 
point unobserved they could assail the enemy 
from the rear, and thus, catching them be- 
tween two fires, compel their surrender. 
Stirred by the thought of this brilliant pro- 
spect, the intrepid Americans eagerly hurried 
onward. 



Ube Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



369 



In the meantime Washington directed one 
hundred and fifty volunteers, under Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Crary, to proceed from the vicinity 
of One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Street and 
the Boulevard straight down to the " Hollow 
Way," but not to make any real attack till 
they saw that the venture of the flanking- 
party had proved successful.'" The bait read- 
ily attracted the confident British. Running 
down the hill across Claremont Avenue to the 
Boulevard and One Hundred and Twenty- 
seventh Street, they crouched behind some 
fences and bushes, whereupon "a smart fir- 
ing began but at too great a distance to do 
much execution on either side." " How- 
ever, if the British could only be kept where 
they were, or enticed still further toward 
the American lines, Knowlton and Leitch 
would reach the desired position, and the 
light infantry would be prisoners. At this 
moment Washington judged it expedient to 
reinforce Crary's courageous volunteers, and 
for nearly an hour the contest continued. As 
they dodged behind tree, rock, bush, fence, or 
other point of vantage, the skirmishers on 
both sides watched their opportunity to pick 
off an unwary bluecoat or redcoat. Ere long 
the British were forced to retreat up the slope 
of the hill to a field about six hundred feet 
southwest of their first position, " where they 
lodged themselves behind a fence covered 



%icutcna 

antsdolos 

nel Crars 

am bis 

Voluns 

teers 



17° 



Zbc Battle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 



trbc 
mttach 

bs tbe 
tRanaere 



with bushes " ^' (One Hundred and Twenty- 
fourth Street and the Boulevard). But this 
was the objective point which Knowlton's 
party was straining every nerve to attain. As 
luck would have it, just as the American rang- 
ers and riflemen were clambering over the 
rocky ledge referred to, they spied the red- 
coats almost directly in front of them. So far 
as it was an attempt to hem in the British 
from the rear the project had failed ; the at- 
tack must now be made on the flank. One 
explanation of the failure is, that through 
some "misapprehension," as Washington 
says, the Americans "unluckily began their 
attack too soon."" Another is, that some 
subordinate officers, in their enthusiasm to 
meet the enemy, disregarded the commands 
of their superiors and took the wrong road 
— commenting on which behavior, in his gen- 
eral orders, issued the following day, Wash- 
ington declared that "the loss of the enemy 
. . . undoubtedly would have been much 
greater if the orders of the commander-in- 
chief had not in some instance been contra- 
dicted by . . . inferior officers, who, however 
well they may mean, ought not to presume to 
direct." '* But perhaps the unexpected retreat 
of the British and their arrival at the fence 
in question just as the foremost Americans 
emerged from the rocks on their right, give 
the best explanation, and in its light the reck- 



^be Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



371 



lessness of the American soldier and the pre- 
sumption of the American officer become 
transfigured into the headlong zeal and self- 
confident enthusiasm that betoken the militant 
patriot. 

Wherever the mistake might lie, this was 
no time for conjecture. Their comrades had 
driven the enemy before them; the gallant 
example was theirs to emulate. Headed by 
Leitch and Knowlton, the riflemen and Rang- 
ers rushed upon the British and a sharp action 
ensued. In a few minutes the two leaders 
fell, mortally wounded, the former lingering a 
few days, the latter expiring within an hour. 
To one of his officers who bent tenderly over 
him as the light of triumph in his eyes dark- 
ened and the din of battle in his ears grew 
fainter, the dying hero of Bunker Hill whis- 
pered, " I do not value my life if we do but 
get the day." " To his eldest son, a soldier- 
boy of only fifteen years, he uttered his last 
command, "Go, fight for your country!"'" 
Thus perished an officer "whose name and 
spirit ought to be immortalized," says Reed; " 
"the gallant and brave Colonel Knowlton 
. . . an honor to any country . . . who had 
fallen gloriously fighting at his post," says 
Washington.'* 

Meanwhile the struggle was being fiercely 
maintained. Incited to vengeance by the loss 
of their leaders, the Americans "continued 



•Cbe 

Deatb of 

Colonel 

Iftnowlton 



372 



Zbc JSattle of Ibarlem IbciQbu 



Conflict 
at tbe 
JSuchs 
wbeat 
lFiel6 



the engagement with the greatest resolu- 
tion,"^' and soon the British were dislodged 
from their position near the fence. The 
Americans then " pursued them to a buck- 
wheat field on the top of a high hill, distance 
about four hundred paces."" Here the re- 
spective antagonists were reinforced and the 
British made a determined stand. The day's 
campaign had opened with an attempt to cap- 
ture the light troops whose "ungovernable 
impetuosity," wrote Sir Henry Clinton, drew 
them into the "scrape."" The attempt had 
failed, and an open conflict had resulted. But, 
instead of remaining strictly consistent with 
his purpose of avoiding anything like a gen- 
eral engagement, the prudence of Washington 
succumbed to surprise and delight at the vim 
and courage his soldiers were displaying. 
Hence he despatched to their aid about fifteen 
hundred men, a number of whom had been 
runaways at Kip's Bay hardly twenty-four 
hours previous. If the panic-stricken militia 
proved to be excellent in a foot-race when the 
British were the pursuers, here was another 
chance for them to show their vigor at run- 
ning — but this time with the positions re- 
versed. Had Washington any misgivings 
when he resolved to try the mettle of the 
skittish militia under more favorable circum- 
stances, his anxiety vanished when he beheld 
the fugitives of yesterday valiantly supporting 



^ 1* 



ITbe Battle of Ifoarlem Ibeiabts 



373 



their comrades, and charging "the enemy 
with great intrepidity."" Scarcely had the 
buckwheat field been reached when the 
remainder of the light infantry, the Forty- 
second Highlanders, and a company of Hes- 
sians came up with two field-pieces. Then 
occurred the real battle of Harlem Heights — 
or to speak somewhat more precisely, Morn- 
ingside Heights — "a smart action," observes 
a Maryland colonel, " in the true bush-fighting 
way, in which our troops behaved in a man- 
ner that does them the highest honor." " 
During nearly two hours the conflict raged for 
the possession of the buckwheat field. Ter- 
rible as were the British with the bayonet, 
they proved no match for the accurate marks- 
manship of the Americans. The field, snowy 
with the blossoms of coming harvest, an hour 
before peacefully smiling under the rays of a 
September sun, was now ruthlessly trampled 
by the hurrying feet of the combatants, its 
sunlight obscured by a pall of dust and smoke, 
its whiteness reddened by the life-blood of 
many a valiant soldier who furrowed, as he 
fell, its forest of waving grain. Still, though 
the harvest of grain might be destroyed, a 
harvest of hope was to be garnered. An- 
other impetuous charge and the British were 
driven headlong from the field. Exhilarated 
by the sight of their fleeing enemies, the 
Americans enjoyed to the full the novel sensa- 



"Ketreat 
of tbe 
JBritisb 



374 



^be Battle ot Ibarlem Ibeiobts 



tRctreat 
of ffiritisb 



tion of a fox-chase, in which they did not 
personate the fox ! 

In an orchard near the Boulevard and One 
Hundred and Twelfth Street the British again 
stood their ground; but the onward rush of 
the Americans could not be borne. Once 
more the enemy fled "across a hollow and 
up another hill not far distant from their own 
lines." ** Here in the vicinity of Jones's house 
(One Hundred and Sixth Street west of the 
Boulevard), where the contest had begun in 
the morning, it ended about three o'clock in 
the afternoon. For hardly had the redcoats 
left the orchard, when Washington, surmis- 
ing that reinforcements would soon arrive, 
"judged it prudent to order a retreat. " "' But, 
says Reed, "the pursuit of a flying enemy 
was so new a scene, that it was with diffi- 
culty our men could be brought to retreat."" 
At length "they gave a Hurra! and left the 
field in good order,"" just as the foremost 
columns of the British reinforcements ap- 
peared. From Jones's house to the " Hollow 
Way " the redcoat had pursued the blue- 
coat; from the "Hollow Way" to Jones's 
house the bluecoat chased the redcoat, or, 
in the somewhat picturesque language of 
Captain Brown of the Rangers, "drove the 
dogs near three miles." *' The derisive bugle 
call of the morning was answered by the ex- 
ultant hurrah of the afternoon. 



" Hail to the shades where Freedom dwelt ! 

Where wild flowers deck her martyrs' grave, 
Where Britain's minions keenly felt 
The stern resistance of the brave. 

" 'T was here in firm array they stood — 
Here met Oppression's giant power ; 
Here nobly poured their sacred blood, 
And victory crowned their dying hour." •*' 

The effect of this encounter on the droop- 
ing spirits of the Americans was simply 
magical. " A most timely and well delivered 
return stroke," observes Professor Johnston, 
"it revived the energies of our army, and had 
its influence in compelling another delay in 
the enemy's movements." " Its effect is seen 
in the glow of joyful hope that pervaded the 
hearts of the patriot soldiers. " 1 assure you 
it has given another face of things in our 
army," writes Reed ; "the men have recov- 
ered their spirits, and feel a confidence which 
before they had quite lost." " " The impres- 
sion it made upon the minds of our people," 
says Major Morris, " is [that of] a most signal 
victory."" "Our troops," declares Major 
Shaw, "behaved with as much bravery as 
men possibly could. . . . Now or never 
is the time to make a stand, and rather than 
quit our post [we will] be sacrificed to a 
man."" "An advantage so trivial in itself," 
remarks Colonel Humphreys, "produced, in 
event, a surprising and almost incredible effect 



Ubc 

Effect 

upon tbe 

Bmecican 

Ktmg 



;76 



Xlbe JBattle of Ibarlem Ibeujbts 



Ube 

Effect 

upon tbc 

Hmerican 

Hrm? 



upon the whole army. Amongst the troops 
. . . every visage was seen to brighten, 
and to assume, instead of the gloom of de- 
spair, the glow of animation. " " Colonel Silli- 
man and General Knox take about the same 
view. Says the former: "They [i.e., the 
British] have found now that when we meet 
them on equal ground we are not a set of 
people that will run from them, but that they 
have . . . had a pretty good drubbing." " 
Says the latter : "They [/. e., the Americans] 
find that if they stick to these mighty men 
they will run as fast as other people." " In- 
deed, General Greene somewhat extravagantly 
asserts that, with good discipline and leader- 
ship, the Americans "might bid defiance to 
the whole world." " And what words of 
commendation had the commander-in-chief 
to bestow ? In the general orders issued 
the next day Washington "most heartily" 
thanked the troops for their courageous be- 
havior, and added: " Once more . . . the 
general calls upon officers and men to act up 
to the noble cause in which they are engaged, 
and support the honor and liberties of their 
country."" The crisis had passed. The 
doubts of Washington as to the staying quali- 
ties of the American soldier vanished with 
the receding forms of the enemy. The morti- 
fication of yesterday was replaced by the 
gratification of to-day. The success for which 



Ube Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



377 



he had so earnestly wished, to retrieve mis- 
fortune and infuse new courage, had been 
attained. Henceforth the devotion of the 
American soldier to his chief was only equalled 
by the confidence of that chief in his soldier. 

Because the Americans who had enjoyed 
the rare sport of chasing their enemies for 
over a mile, and, deeming it unwise to attack 
the main body, had reluctantly withdrawn, 
the British construed the "affair of outposts " " 
at Harlem Heights into a victory for themselves. 
According to General Howe, they "repulsed 
the enemy with considerable loss, and obliged 
them to retire within their works " *" ; and in 
his orders of September 17, he "entertains 
the highest opinion of the bravery of the few 
troops that yesterday beat back a very supe- 
rior body of the rebels," although he disap- 
proves, the "want of attention in the light 
companies pursuing the rebels without . . . 
proper discretion." *' Colonel von Donop, 
however, who commanded the Hessians, 
comes nearer the truth when he modestly ob- 
serves that had it not been for his "Yagers 
(riflemen), two regiments of Highlanders and 
the British infantry would have all perhaps 
been captured."" But the utterance of an 
English officer, as related by an American 
prisoner on one of his Majesty's ships, affords 
the best commentary on the events of Sep- 
tember 15 and 16, at Kip's Bay and Harlem 



3Britisb 
Wiew of 
tbe Cns 
counter 



378 



Ubc Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



present 
Site of tbe 
Encounter 



Heights. It seems that, on the evening after 
the unfortunate occurrence at Kip's Bay, this 
officer went on board denouncing "the Yan- 
kees for runaway cowards, and storming that 
there was no chance to fight and get honor 
and rise." Quite different the burden, if not the 
manner, of his complaint when, having fairly 
encountered the patriot soldiers at Harlem 
Heights, he again went on board cursing the 
war, and " saying he had found the Americans 
would fight, and that it would be impossible 
to conquer them." °' Unwittingly the bluster- 
ing soldier told the truth. From Harlem to 
Yorktown the story of the Revolution is his 
witness. 

On the buckwheat -field of Morningside 
Heights, the American soldier studied and 
learned a lesson of bravery in the school of 
warfare. The woods and fences, fields and 
orchards, have long since disappeared, but on 
their site the genius of education still lives to 
perpetuate the memory of that lesson, and of 
that school, in the mind of the American 
student, — on their site arise to-day the stately 
buildings of Barnard College and Columbia 
University. Here, in the centre of what once 
was the buckwheat-field — the historic land- 
mark of a victory in war — stands Barnard Col- 
lege, a magnificent memorial of a far grander 
victory in peace, of a victory over the nar- 
rowness of Revolutignary days, of a victory 



Zbc Battle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 



379 



for the enlightenment of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, of a victory for the higher education of 
the American woman. 



IPrescnt 
Site of tbe 
Sncounter 



?8o 



^be ^Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



NOTES AND REFERENCES. 



"fftotes 

and 

tReferencee 



For a collection of original authorities on the battle of 
Harlem Heights, see the appendix to Jay, The Battle 
of Harlem Plains, Oration before the New York 
Historical Society, September 16, 1876; Johnston, 
The Campaign of 1776 around New York and 
Brooklyn — Memoirs of the Long Island Historical 
Society, iii., part ii. ; The Magazine of American 
History, iv., pp. 3^9-375 ; viii., part i., pp. 39-49 ; 
part ii., pp. 627-629 ; Johnston, The Battle of Har- 
lem Heights, -pY*- '-5~-34- The best account of the 
battle — particularly for its precision in locating the 
various sites of the conflict — is The Battle of Harlem 
Heights, by Professor Henry P. Johnston (Columbia 
University Press). Indeed, so far as topographical 
details are concerned, the present sketch is based al- 
most wholly upon Professor Johnston's observations. 
Besides giving a brief description of the campaign of 
1776 around New York City, Professor Johnston also 
critically reviews earlier versions of the battle, and 
appends practically all the original authorities. , 

Force, American Archives, Fifth Series, ii., p. 467. 

Johnston, The Battle of Harlem Heights, ^y>- '4'. '42- 
Collections of the New York Historical Society, Lee 

Papers, i., p. 309. 
New York City during the American Revolution, 

p. 88. 
Johnston, The Campaign of iyy6, etc., part i., pp. 

95, 9^- 
Johnston, The Correspondence and Public Papers of 

John Jay, i., p. 47. 
Johnston, The Campaign of 1776, etc., p. 93, note. 
Irving, Life of George IVashington (1857 ed.), ii., pp. 

267-270. 



XTbe 3Battle ot Ibarlem IbeiQbts 



10. Ford, The Huntings of George IVashington, iv., pp. 

379, 381. 

1 1. Graydon, Memoirs of His Own Time, p. 174. 

12. Hid., p. 175. 

1 3, Journals of Congress, i., p. 465. 

14. [Martin], A Narrative of some of the Adventures, 

Dangers, and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier, 
p. 26. 

15. For a picture of this mansion, see The Magazine of 

American History, xxi., p. 3 ; Lossing, Field Book 
of the American Revolution, ii., p. 609. 

16. [Martin], A Narrative, etc., pp. 26-28. 

17. Upcott Collection in the library of the New York 

Historical Society, iv., p. 41 1. 

18. Ford, The IVrititigs, etc., iv., pp. 407,408; Force, 

American Archives, Fifth Series, ii., p. 370 ; Heath, 
Memoirs, p. 60 ; Graydon, Memoirs, p. 1 74 ; Gor- 
don, A History of the United States, ii., p. 327 ; 
Thacher, a Military Journal during the American 
Revolutionary War, p. 59. 

19. Ford, The Writings, etc., iv., p. 408. 

20. Thacher, A Military Journal, etc., pp. 59, 60 ; His- 

tortc New York, i., pp. 246, 317. 

21. Lossing, Field Book, ii., p. 611. 

22. Humphreys, An Essay on the Life of the Honorable 

Major-General Israel Putnam, pp. 136, 137. 
25. Ford, The Writings, etc., iv., p. 409. 

24. Marshall, The Life of George Washington, ii., p. 

465. 

25. Woodward, Memoir of Colonel Thomas KnowUon, 

p. 14. 

26. The Connecticut Gazette and the Universal Intelli- 

gencer, September 27, 1 776. 

27. Reed, Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed, i., p. 

237. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Ford, The Writings, etc., iv., p. 471. 



?8i 



tnotee 

and 

IRcferencea 



38^- 


Zbc Battle of Ibarlem Ibeiabts 


IRotes 


30 


Memoir of Lieutenant-Colonel Tench Tilghman, p. 


an6 




.38. 


IRcferenccs 


31 


Ford, The IVritings, etc., iv., p. 417. 




32 


Johnston, The Battle, etc., p. 141. 




3? 


Ford, The IVritings, etc., iv.^ p. 417. 




34 


Johnston, The Battle, etc., p. 162. 




35 


The Connecticut Gazette, September 27, 177b. 




36 


Woodward, Memoirs, etc., p. 15. 




37 


Reed, Life and Correspondence, etc., i., p. 237. 




38 


Marshall, The Life, etc., ii., p. 468. 




39 


Ford, The IVritings, etc., iv., p. 417. 




40 


Johnston, The Battle, etc., p. 141. 




41 


Ibid. , p. 89. Note in the handwriting of Sir Henry 
Clinton in his copy of Stedman, History of the 
/American War, now in the James Carter Brown Li- 
brary, Providence, Rhode Island. 




42 


Ford, The IVritings, etc., iv., p. 417. 




43 


LossiNG, The American Historical Record, ii., p. 260. 




44 


Johnston, The Battle, etc., p. 141. 




45 


Ford, The IVritings, etc., iv., p. 417. 




46 


Manuscripts of Joseph Reed in the library of the New 
York Historical Society, iv. : Joseph Reed to his wife, 
September 22, 1770. 




47 


Memoir of Lieutenant-Colonel Tench Tilghman, p. 

.38. 
The Connecticut Gazette, September 27, 1776. 




48 




49 


These stanzas and four others " appeared originally in 
the New York Evening Post, and were reprinted in 
the New York IVeekly Museum of October 5, 181 1 ." 
They are stated to be " lines occasioned by a ramble 
over part of Harlem Heights, particularly a spot re- 
markable for an action said to have taken place there 
between a party of Americans and a detachment of 
the British army." See The Maga:^iue of American 
History, viii., part ii., p. 629. The stanzas must 
have had a special significance in view of the ap- 
proaching renewal of conflict with Great Britain. 



Xlbe Battle of Ibarlem Ibeigbts 



SI. 
5-- 
53- 

54- 

5S. 

57- 



58. 

59- 
60. 
61. 
62. 
63. 



Johnston, 7/?^ Battle, etc., p. 90. 

Reed, Life and Correspondence, etc., i., p. 237. 

JohNSTON, 7"^^ Battle, etc., p. 147. 

QyiNCY, 7"A^ Journals of Major Samuel Shaw, p. 

20. 
Humphreys, yin Essay, etc., p. 141. 
Johnston, The Campaign of iyy6, etc., part ii., p. 

Sb. 
Johnston, The Battle, etc., p. 151. 
Ibid., p. 163. Extracts from the manuscript literary 

diary and journal of occurrences kept by Ezra Stiles, 

D.D., now in the library of Yale University. 
Ihid., p. 162. 
Ibid., p. 206. 
Ibid., p. 204. 
Ibid., p. 209. 
Ibid., p. 225. 
Ibid., p. 164. 



notes 

anB 

-References 



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Ashley Hewitt. 



Zbc flewest jfiction* 

The Head of the Family. 

By Alphonse Daudet. Translated by Levin Carnac. 
With a Biographical Sketch by Adolphe Cohn, 
LL.B., Professor in Columbia University. With 
29 Illustrations by Marchetti. 12°. . -^i-So 

The Paris correspondent of the JVew 'i'ork Times says: " The characters are 
drawn with all the subtle delineation and are colored with all the light and shadow, 
the pathoSj and the humor of which Daudet's genius, at its very best, was capable. 
The book is certainly one of his greatest works." 

In the Midst of Life. 

Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. By Ambrose Bierce. 
12° $1.25 

" No one could forget the impressions of these grimly powerful vignettes, 
chiefly of our Civil War. This little volume deserves the widest circulation as a 
peace tract of the first order in the present craze for bloodshed." — N. K. Post. 

Boston Neighbours. 

In Town and Out. By Agnes Blake Poor. 12°. $1.25 

" A distinctly readable little volume, comprising eight clever stories and char- 
acter studies by a shrewd observer of men, women, and things. The author 
writes in a sprightly satire, with an occasional touch of gen\iine pathos, and shows 
a frank appreciation of Boston characteristics." — .V. ]'. Comtnercial Advertiser. 

Lost Man's Lane. 

A Second Episode in the Life of Amelia Butterworth. 
By Anna Katharine Green, author of " That 
Affair Next Door," *' The Leavenworth Case," etc. 
12°, cloth, $1.00 ; paper .... 50 cts. 

" Miss Green works up a cause celebre with a fertility of device and ingenuity 
of treatment hardly second to Wilkie Collins or Edgar Allan Poe." — The Outloek. 

Beleaguered. 

By Herman T. Koerner. With illustrations by the 
author. 8° $1.50 

a dramatic story of the 17th century. The scene is laid in the Uplands of 
Baden, that territory which during the Thirty Years' War was so often the arena 
•f battle. 



G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, New York and Londok 



lRecor&s of an Barlier Uimc 



Knickerbocker's History of New York 

By WASHINGTON IRVING. k^an Twiller Edition, 
From new plates. With 225 original illustrations by 
E. W. Kemble. Each page surrounded by an appropriate 
artistic border. 2 vols. 8°, gilt tops, with slip covers, 
$6.00. Three-quarter levant .... $12.00 
Other editions from 75 cts. upwards. 

" A work honourable to English literature, manly, bold, and so 
altogether original^ without being extravagant, as to stand alone 
among the labours of men." — Blackwood^ s Magazine. 

Last Days of Knickerbocker Life in 
New York 

By ABRAM C. DAYTON. With an Introduction by 
Richard B. Kimball. New edition, re-set with selected 
full-page illustrations, specially produced for this volume. 
Octavo, gilt top $2.50 

" This interesting work, written in 1871 and originally published 
in i88d, is now for the first time put before the public in a shape be- 
fitting its merits as a historic record of an interesting period in the 
life of this city. The volume is illustrated with a number of portraits 
and curious old drawings." — N. V. Sun. 

Historic New York 

Half Moon Series. Edited by Maud Wilder Goodwin, 

Alice Carrington Royce, Ruth Putnam, and Eva Palmer 

Brownell. 

First Series. With 29 Illustrations. 8°. . . $2.50 

Second Series. Illustrated. 8" . . . . $2.50 

"A delightfully attractive volume possessing much historic value, 
and illustrating a careful, conscientious scholarship worthy of high 
praise. The papers describe old New York in a simple, vivid, 
picturesque, and truthful fashion." — TAe Congregationalist. 



H^nickers 

bockec's 

IblstoiB of 

mew Hovh 



last 2)a\is 

of 

Iknlchcis 

bocfcer 

Xife 

in Hew 

Korh 



Ibietoi-tc 
tAcw morh 



G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, Nev/ York & London 



MILITARY HISTORY. 



THE ART OF WAR. 

The Middle Ages, From the Fourth to the Fourteenth Century. 
By Charles Oman, M.A., F.S.A., Fellow of All Souls' College, 
Oxford. 8°, pp. 667. With 24 plates of maps, plans and illus- 
tiations ......... $4.50 

The above volume forms the second of a series of four in which the 
author intends to present a general sketch of the history of the art of 
war from the Greek and Roman times down to the beginning of the 
igth century. The first volume in chronological order, which will 
cover tlie classical division of the subject, will be issued shortly. 
The third volume will be devoted to the 15th, i6th, and 17th cent- 
uries, while the fourth volume will treat of the military history of 
the 1 8th century, and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars down 
to Waterloo. 

THE STORY OF THE CIVIL WAR. 

A Concise Account of the War in the United States of America 
between 1861 and 1865. By John Codman Ropes. 
To be complete in four parts, printed in four octavo volumes, 
with comprehensive maps and battle plans. Each part will be com- 
plete in itself and will be sold separately. 

Part I. — Narrative of Events to the Opening of the Campaigns of 
1862, with 5 maps, 8° (now ready), pp. xiv. + 274 . $1.50 

''The most complete, comprehensive, and interesting account of the Civil War 
which has ever been published. . . . We unhesitatingly recommend it as con- 
taining a wealth of information that no one can afford to be deprived of." — New 
Haven Eve. Leader. 

" The work is thoroughly impartial, and moreover is free from individual 
caprice. . . . The manner is much that of a skilled attorney stating his case, 
only in this instance the writer states the case for both sides." — Cincinnati 
Commercial Gazette. 

Part II. — Ready shortly. 

DECISIVE BATTLES SINCE 
WATERLOO. 

A Continuation of Creasy's " Decisive Battles of the World." By 
Thomas W. Knox. With 59 plans and illustrations. 8°, 
pp. viii. -1- 490 $2.50 

" Must go wherever Creasy's invaluable preceding book of 1852 has gone, and 
perhaps where it has not found its way. . . . The author has done his work 
well and attractively." — Hart/ord Post. 

THE NAVAL WAR OF 1812 ; 

or. The History of the United States Navy during the Last War 
with Great Britain. By Theodore Roosevelt. 3d edition, 
8°, pp. xxxviii. + 531 ...... $2.50 

" Shows in so young an author the best promise for a good histori.in — fearlessness 
of statement, caution, endeavor to be impartial, and a brisk and interesting way 
of telling events." yV. }'. Times. 

"The reader of Mr. Roosevelt's book unconsciously makes up his mind that he 
is reading history and not romance, and yet no romance could surpass it in 
interest." —Philadelphia Times. 



G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, New York and London. 



The City History Club 
of New York 

The City History Club aims to awaken a general 
interest in the history and traditions of New York, 
believing that such interest is one of the surest 
guarantees of civic improvement. Its work is car- 
ried on through three channels : 

I. — A Normal Class 
2. — Popular Classes 
3- — Public Lectures 

For further information, conditions of member- 
ship, etc., address 

Secretary dry History Club, 
II West 50th Street, 
New York. 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 

nil 



011 712 461 7' 



XLhc 1baIfs=nDoon Series 



Series of (898 



Published monthly. Per number, locts. 
Subscription price for the 12 numbers, $1.00 

The Second Series of the Half Moon 
Papers will commence in January, 1898, 
with a paper on "Slavery in Old New 
York," by Edwin V. Morgan. 
"Tammany Hall," by Talcott Williams; 
** Old Family Names," by Berthold Fernow ; 
" Bowling Green," by Spencer Trask ; 
"Prisons and Punishments," by Elizabeth 
Dike Lewis ; " Breuklen," by Harrington 
Putnam ; " Old Taverns and Posting Inns," 
by Elizabeth Brown Cutting ; " The New 
York Press in the i8th Century," by Char- 
lotte M. Martin and Benjamin Ellis Martin ; 
" Neutral Ground," by Charles Pryer ; " The 
Doctor in Old New York," by Francke H. 
Bosworth ; " Old Schools and Schoolmas- 
ters," by Tunis G. Bergen ; "The Battle of 
Harlem Heights," by William R. Shepard. 



G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 
New York and London