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Washington the Soldier 

- P.A 




WAS ML 2 M vB T If 

th.B StMbnan Cisyoi in possession of J.CaTSOUBnr/oort.Esq. 



General Henry B. Carrington, LL.D. 


Battles of the American Revolution," " Battle Maps and Charts of the 
Revolution," " Indian Operations on the Plains," The Six 
Nations," " Beacon Lights of Patriotism," etc. 


Th* applause of list ning senates to command ; 
The threats of pain and ruin to despise ; 
To scatter plenty o er a smiling land, 
And read fit s history in a Nation s eyes." 

New York 

Charles Scribner s Sons 


. , ;. BY f . ,, ,. 


Copyright, 1899 

All rights reserved 




Sons an& Daugbteys of liberty J6ver?wbcre 









SINCE the first appearance of this volume, during the 
winter of 1898-9, the author has considerately re 
garded all letters and literary comments- received by him, 
as well as other recent works upon the life and times of 
Washington. His original purpose to treat his subject 
judicially, regardless of unverified tradition, has been 

Washington s sublime conception of America, noticed in 
Chapter XXXVI., foreshadowed "a stupendous fabric of 
freedom and empire, on the broad basis of Independency," 
through which the " poor and oppressed of all races and 
religions " might find encouragement and solace. 

The war with Spain has made both a moral and physical 
impress upon the judgment and conscience of the entire 
world. Unqualified by a single disaster on land or sea, 
and never diverted from humane and honorable methods^ 
it illustrates the intelligent patriotism and exhaust-less 
resources of our country, and a nearer realization of 
Washington s prayer for America. 

Looking to the general trend of Washington s military 
career, it is emphasized, throughout the volume, that the 
moral, religious, and patriotic motives that energized his 
life and shaped his character were so absolutely inter, 
woven with the fibre of his professional experiences, that 


the soul of the Man magnified the greatness of the 

In connection with Washington s relations to General 
Braddock, mentioned in the First Chapter, it is worthy of 
permanent record that Virginia would not sanction, nor 
would Washington accept assignment, except as Chief of 
Staff. He was not a simple Aid-de-Camp, but of recognized 
and responsible military merit. 



September 21, 1899. 


THE text of this volume, completed in the spring of 
1898 and not since modified, requires a different 
Preface from that first prepared. The events of another 
war introduce applications of military principles which 
have special interest. This is the more significant be 
cause modern appliances have been developed with start 
ling rapidity, while general legislation and the organization 
of troops, both regular and volunteer, have been very 
similar to those of the times of Washington, and of later 
American wars. 

His letters, his orders, his trials, his experiences ; the 
diversities of judgment between civilians and military 
men ; between military men of natural aptitudes and 
those of merely professional or accidental training, as 
well as the diversities of personal and local interest, indi 
cate the value of Washington s example and the charac 
ter of his time. Hardly a single experience in his career 
has not been realized by officers and men in these latter 

A very decided impression, however, has obtained 
among educated men, including those of the military pro 
fession, that Washington had neither the troops, resources, 
and knowledge, nor the broad range of field service which 
have characterized modern warfare, and therefore lacked 
material elements which develop the typical soldier. But 
more recent military operations upon an extensive scale, 
especially those of the Franco-Prussian War, and the 
American Civil War of 1861-1865, have supplied mate 
rial for better appreciation of the principles that were 


involved in the campaigns of the War for American In 
dependence, as compared with those of Napoleon, Wel 
lington, Maryborough, Frederick, Hannibal, and Caesar. 

With full allowance for changes in army and battle 
formation, tactical action and armament, as well as 
greater facilities for the transportation of troops and 
army supplies, it remains true that the relative effect of 
all these changes upon success in war upon a grand scale, 
has not been the modification of those principles of mili 
tary science which have shaped battle action and the gen 
eral conduct of war, from the earliest period of authentic 
military history. The formal " Maxims of Napoleon " 
were largely derived from his careful study of the cam 
paigns of Frederick, Hannibal, and Ctusar ; and these, 
with the principles involved, had specific and sometimes 
literal illustration in the eventful operations of the armies 
of the Hebrew Commonwealth. As a matter of fact, 
those early Hebrew experiences were nearly as potential 
in shaping the methods of modern generals, as their civil 
code became the formative factor in all later civil codes, 
preeminently those of the English Common Law. The 
very best civil, police, and criminal regulations of modern 
enactment hold closely to Hebrew antecedents. And in 
military lines, the organization of regiments by compa 
nies, and the combinations of regiments as brigades, 
divisions and corps, still rest largely upon the same deci 
mal basis ; and neither the Roman legion nor the Grecian 
phalanx improved upon that basis. Even the Hebrew 
militia, or reserves, had such well-established comprehen 
sion of the contingency of the entire nation being called 
to the field, or subjected to draft, that as late as the 
advent of Christ, when he ordered the multitudes to be 
seated upon the grass for refreshment, "they seated 
themselves in companies of hundreds and fifties." Tlie 
sanitary and police regulations of their camps have hdver 

PREFACE. ii V ix: 

been surpassed, nor their provision for the cleanliness, 
health, and comfort of the rank and file. From earliest 
childhood they were instructed in their national history 
and its glorious achievements, and the whole people 
rejoiced in the gallant conduct of any. 

Changes in arms, and especially in projectiles, only 
induced modified tactical formation and corresponding 
movements. The division of armies into a right, centre, 
and left, with a well-armed and well-trained reserve, was 
illustrated in their earliest battle record. The latest 
modern formation, which makes of the regiment, by its 
three battalion formation, a miniature, brigade, is chiefly 
designed to give greater individual value to the soldier, 
and not subject compact masses to the destructive sweep 
of modern missiles. It also makes the force more mobile, 
as well as more comprehensive of territory within its 
range of fire. All this, however, is matter of detail and 
not of substance, in the scientific conduct of campaigns 
during a protracted and widely extended series of opera 
tions in the field. 

Military science itself is but the art of employing force 
to vindicate, or execute, authority. To meet an emer 
gency adequately, wisely, and successfully, is the expres 
sive logic of personal, municipal, and military action. 
The brain power is banded to various shaftings, and the 
mental processes may differ by virtue of different appli 
cations ; but the prime activities are the same. In 
military studies, as in all collegiate or social preparation, 
the soldier, the lawyer, or the scientist, must be in the 
man, and not the necessary product of a certificate oi" a 
diploma. The simplest possible definition of a few terms 
in military use will elucidate the narrative as its events 
develop the War for American Independence, under the 
direction of Washington as Gommander-in-Chief. ,111 

Six cardinal principles are thus .stated: , . >r : i if; \J ! ; 


I. STRATEGY. To secure those combinations which 
will ensure the highest possible advantage in the employ 
ment of military force. 

NOTE. The strategical principles which controlled the Revolu 
tionary campaigns, as defined in Chapter X. had their correspond 
ence in 1861-1865, when the Federal right zone, or belt of war, was 
beyond the Mississippi River, and the left zone between the Alle- 
ghany Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. The Confederate forces, 
with base at Richmond, commanded an interior line westward, so 
that the same troops could be alternatively used against the Federal 
right, left, and centre, while the latter must make a long detour to 
support its advance southward from the Ohio River. Federal superi 
ority on sea and river largely contributed to success. American 
sea-control in 1898, so suddenly and completely secured, was 
practically omnipotent in the war with Spain. The navy, was a 
substantially equipped force at the start. The army, had largely to 
be created, when instantly needed, to meet the naval advance. 
Legislation also favored the navy by giving to the commander-in- 
chief the services of eminent retired veterans as an advisory board, 
while excluding military men of recent active duty from similar 
advisory and administrative service. 

II. GRAND TACTICS. To handle that force in the 

NOTE. See Chapter XVII., where the Battle of Brandywine, 
through the disorder of Sullivan s Division, unaccustomed to act as 
a Division, or as a part of a consolidated Grand Division or Corps, 
exactly fulfilled the conditions which made the first Battle of Bull 
Run disasterous to the American Federal Army in 1861. Subsequent 
skeleton drills below Arlington Heights, were designed to quicken the 
proficiency of fresh troops, in the alignments, wheelings, and turns, 
so indispensable to concert in action upon an extensive scale. In 
1898 the fresh troops were largely from militia organizations which 
had been trained in regimental movements. School battalions and 
the military exercises of many benevolent societies had also been 
conducive to readiness for tactical instruction. The large Camps of 
Instruction were also indispensably needed. Here again, time was 
an exacting master of the situation. 

III. LOGISTICS. The practical art of bringing armies, 
fully equipped, to the battlefield. 


NOTE. In America where the standing army has been of only 
nominal strength, although well officered ; and where militia are the 
main reliance in time of war ; and where varied State systems rival 
those of Washington s painful experience, the principle of Logistics, 
with its departments of transportation and infinite varieties of sup 
ply, is vital to wholesome and economic success. The war with 
Spain which commenced April 21, 1898, illustrated this principle to 
an extent never before realized in the world s history. Familiarity 
with details, on so vast a scale of physical and financial activity, was 
impossible, even if every officer of the regular army had been as 
signed to executive duty. The education and versatile capacity of 
the American citizen had to be utilized. Their experience fur 
nished object-lessons for all future time. 

IV. ENGINEERING. The application of mathematics 
and mechanics to the maintenance or reduction of fortified 
places ; the interposition or removal of artificial obstruc 
tions to the passage of an army ; and the erection of suit 
able works for the defence of territory or troops. 

NOTE. The invention and development of machinery and the 
marvellous range of mechanical art, through chemical, electrical, and 
other superhuman agencies, afforded the American Government an 
immediate opportunity to supplement its Engineer Corps in 1898, 
with skilled auxiliaries. In fact, the structure of American society 
and the trend of American thought and enterprise, invariably demand 
the best results. What is mechanically necessary, will be invented, 
if not at hand. That is good engineering. 

V. MINOR TACTICS. The instruction of the soldier, 
individually and en masse, in the details of military drill, 
the use of his weapon, and the perfection of discipline. 

NOTE. Washington never lost sight of the set-up of the individ 
ual soldier, as the best dependence in the hour of battle. Self-reli 
ance, obedience to orders, and confidence in success, were enjoined 
as the conditions of success. His system of competitive marksman 
ship, of rifle ranges, and burden tests, was initiated early in his career, 
and was conspicuously enjoined before Brooklyn, and elsewhere, 
during the war. 

The American soldier of 1898 became invincible, man for man, 
because of his intelligent response to individual discipline and drill. 
Failure in either, whether of officer or soldier, shaped character and 


result. As with the ancient Hebrew, citizenship meant knowledge 
of organic law and obedience to its behests. Every, individual, there 
fore, when charged with the central electric force, became a relay 
battery, to conserve, intensify, and distribute that force. 

VI. STATESMANSHIP ix WAR. This is illustrated 
by the suggestion of Christ, that "a king going to war 
with another king would sit down first and count the 
cost, whether he would be able with ten thousand to meet 
him that cometh against him with twenty thousand." 

NOTE. American statesmanship in 1898, exacted other appli 
ances than those of immediate!} 1 - available physical force. The costly 
and insufferable relations of the Spanish West Indies to the United 
States, had become pestilential. No self-respecting nation, else 
where, would have as long withheld the. only remedy. Cuba was 
dying to be free. Spain, unwilling, or unable, to grant an honorable 
and complete autonomy to her despairing subjects, precipitated war 
with the United States. The momentum of a supreme moral force in 
behalf of humanity at large, .so energized the entire American people 
that every ordinary unpreparedness failed to lessen the effectiveness of 
the stroke. 

It was both statesmanship and strategy, to strike so suddenly that 
neither climatic changes, indigenous diseases, nor tropical cyclones, 
could gain opportunity to do their mischief. When these supposed 
allies of Spain were brushed aside, as powerless to stay the advance 
of American arms in behalf of starving thousands, and a fortunate 
occasion was snatched, just in time for victory, it proved to be such 
an achievement as Washington would have pronounced a direct 
manifestation of Divine favor. 

But the character of Washington as a soldier is not to 
be determined by the numerical strength of the armies 
engaged in single battles, nor by the resources and geo 
graphical conditions of later times. The same general 
principles have ever obtained, and ever will control 
human judgment. Transportation and inter-comniunica- 
tion are relative ; and the slow mails and travel of Revo 
lutionary times, alike affected both armies, with no partial 
benefit or injury to either. The British had better com* 
munication bv water, but not bv land ; with the disadviin- 


tage of campaigning through an unknown and intricate 
country, peopled by their enemies, whenever not covered 
by the guns of their fleet. The American expedition to 
Cuba in 1898 had not only the support of invincible 
fleets, but the native population were to be the auxiliaries, 
as well as the beneficiaries of the mighty movement. 

Baron Jornini, in his elaborate history of the cam 
paigns of Napoleon, analyzes that general s success over 
his more experienced opponents, upon the basis of his 
observance or neglect of the military principles already 
outlined. The dash and vigor of his first Italian cam 
paign were indeed characteristic of a young soldier im 
patient of the habitually tardy deliberations of the old- 
school movements. Napoleon discounted time by action. 
He benumbed his adversary by the suddenness and feroc 
ity of his stroke. But never, even in that wonderful 
campaign, did Napoleon strike more suddenly and effec 
tively, than did Washington on Christinas night, 1776, 
at Trenton. And Napoleon s following-up blow was not 
more emphatic, in its results, than was Washington s 
attack upon Princeton, a week later, when the British 
army already regarded his capture as a simple morn 
ing privilege. Such inspirations of military prescience 
belong to every age ; and often they shorten wars by 
their determining value. 

As a sound basis for a right estimate of Washington s 
military career, and to avoid tedious episodes respecting 
the acts and methods of many generals who were asso 
ciated with him at the commencement of the Revolu 
tionary War, a brief synopsis of the career of each will 
find early notice. The dramatis personce of the Revolu 
tionary drama are thus made the group of which he is to 
be the centre ; and his current orders, correspondence, 
and criticisms of their conduct, will furnish his valuation 
of the character and services of each. The single fact, 


that no general officer of the first appointments actively 
shared in the immediate siege of Yorktown, adds in 
terest to this advance outline of their personal history. 

For the same purpose, and as a logical predicate for 
his early comprehension of the real issues involved in a 
contest with Great Britain, an outline of events which 
preceded hostilities is introduced, embracing, however, 
only those Colonial antecedents which became emotional 
factors in forming his character and energizing his life as 
a soldier. 

The maps, which illustrate only the immediate cam 
paigns of Washington, or related territory which required 
his supervision, are reduced from those used in " Battle 
Maps and Charts of the American Revolution." The 
map entitled " Operations near New York," was the first 
one drafted, at Tarrytown, New York. In 1847, it was 
approved by Washington Irving, then completing his 
Life of Washington, and his judgment determined the 
plan of the future work. All of the maps, however, 
before engravure, had the minute examination and ap 
proval of Benson J. Lossing. The present volume owes 
its preparation to the personal request of the late Robert 
C. Winthrop, of Massachusetts, made shortly before his 
decease, and is completed, with ever-present appreciation 
of his aid and his friendship. 


HYDE PARK, MASS., Sept. 1, 1898, 

















YORK 93 

BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND . . "; . . . 101 

WASHINGTON IN NEW YORK . . . . . .114 









THE HUDSON . .. . . . . . . 171 



GERMANTOWN . . . . . . .192 






BATTLE OF MONMOUTH . . . . . .221 








NAH 263 




GATES . . . . . . . .282 













LAFAYETTE .... . 344 





APPENDIX A. American Army, by States . . . 377 

APPENDIX B. American Navy and its Career . . 378 

APPENDIX C. Comparisons with Later Wars . . 380 

APPENDIX D. British Army, at Various Dates . . 383 

APPENDIX E. Organization of Burgoyne 3 Army . 387 

APPENDIX F. Organization of Cornwallis s Army . 388 

APPENDIX G. Notes of Lee s Court-martial 389 





WASHINGTON .... . Frontispiece. 

[Hall s engraving from the St. Memin crayon.] 


[From etching, after Hall s Sons group.] 


[From Stuart s painting, in Faneuil Hall, Boston.] 


[From Dael s painting.] 


[From the painting by Scheuster.] 



























riHHE boyhood and youth of George Washington were 
1 singularly in harmony with those aptitudes and 
tastes that shaped his entire life. He was not quite 
eight years of age when his elder brother, Lawrence, 
fourteen years his senior, returned from England where 
he had been carefully educated, and where he had devel 
oped military tastes that were hereditary in the family. 
Lawrence secured a captain s commission in a freshly 
organized regiment, and engaged in service in the West 
Indies, with distinguished credit. His letters, counsels, 
and example inspired the younger brother with similar 
zeal. Irving says that "all his amusements took a mili 
tary turn. He made soldiers of his school-mates. They 
had their mimic parades, reviews, and sham-fights. A 
boy named William Bustle, was sometimes his competitor, 
but George was commander-in-chief of the school." 

His business aptitudes were equally exact, methodical, 
and promising. Besides fanciful caligraphy, which ap 
peared in manuscript school-books, wherein he executed 
profiles of his school-mates, with a flourish of the pen, as 
well as nondescript birds, Irving states that " before he 


was thirteen years of age, he had copied into a volume, 
forms of all kinds of mercantile and legal papers : bills of 
exchange, notes of hand, deeds, bonds, and the like." 
"This self-tuition gave him throughout life a lawyer s 
skill in drafting documents, and a merchant s exactness 
in keeping accounts, so that all the concerns of his various 
estates, his dealings with his domestic stewards and 
foreign agents, his accounts with government, and all his 
financial transactions, are, to this day, monuments of his 
method and unwearied accuracy." 

Even as a boy, his frame had been large and powerful, 
and he is described by Captain Mercer " as straight as an 
Indian, measuring six feet and two inches in his stockings, 
and weighing one hundred and seventy-five pounds, when 
he took his seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 
1759. His head is well shaped though not large, but 
is gracefully poised on a superb neck, with a large 
and straight rather than a prominent nose ; blue-gray 
penetrating eyes, which were widely separated and over 
hung by heavy brows. A pleasing, benevolent, though 
a commanding countenance, dark-brown hair, features 
regular and placid, with all the muscles under perfect 
control, with a mouth large, and generally firmly closed," 
complete the picture. The bust by Houdon at the 
Capitol of Virginia, and the famous St. Meinin crayon, 
fully accord with this description of Washington. 

His training and surroundings alike ministered to his 
natural conceptions of a useful and busy life. In the 
midst of abundant game, he became proficient in its pur 
suit. Living where special pride was taken in the cul 
tivation of good stock, and where nearly all travel and 
neighborly visitation was upon horseback, he learned the 
value of a good horse, and was always well mounted. 
Competition in saddle exercise was, therefore, one of the 
most pleasing and constant entertainments of himself and 


companions, and in its enjoyment, and in many festive 
tournaments that revived something of the olden-time 
chivalry of knighthood, Washington was not only profi 
cient, but foremost in excellence of attainment. 

Rustic recreations such as quoits, vaulting, wrestling, 
leaping, the foot-race, hunting and fishing, were parts 
of his daily experience, and thoroughly in the spirit of 
the Old Dominion home life of the well-bred gentleman. 
The gallantry of the times and the social amenities of 

c / 

that section of the country were specially adapted to his 
temperament, so that in these, also, he took the palm of 
recognized merit. The lance and the sword, arid every 
accomplishment of mimic warfare in the scale of heraldic 
observance, usual at that period, were parts of his panoply, 
to be enjoyed with keenest relish, until his name became 
synonymous with success in all for which he seriously 
struggled. Tradition does not exaggerate the historic 
record of his proficiency in these inanly sports. 

Frank by nature, although self-contained and some 
what reticent in expression ; unsuspicious of others, but 
ever ready to help the deserving needy, or the unfort 
unate competitor who vainly struggled for other sym 
pathy, he became the natural umpire, at the diverting 
recreations of his times, and commanded a respectful con 
fidence far beyond that of others of similar age and posi 
tion in society. With all this, a sense of justice and a 
right appreciation of the merit of others, even of rivals, 
were so conspicuous in daily intercourse with a large 
circle of familiar acquaintances, whether of influential 
families or those of a more humble sphere of life, that he 
ever bent gracefully to honor the deserving, while never 
obsequious to gain the favor of any. 

Living in the midst of slave labor, and himself a 
slaveholder, he was humane, considerate, and impartial. 
Toward his superiors in age or in position, he was uni- 


formly courteous, without jealousy or envy, but uncon 
sciously carried himself with so much of benignity and 
grace, that his most familiar mates paid him the deference 
which marked the demeanor of all who, in later years, 
recognized his exalted preferment and his natural sphere 
of command. The instincts of a perfect gentleman were 
so radicated in his person and deportment, that he moved 
from stage to stage, along life s ascent, as naturally as 
the sun rises to its zenith with ever increasing bright 
ness and force. 

All these characteristics, so happily blended, imparted 
to his choice of a future career its natural direction and 
character. Living near the coast and in frequent con 
tact with representatives of the British navy, he became 
impressed by the strong conviction that its service offered 
the best avenue to the enjoyment of his natural tastes, as 
well as the most promising field for their fruitful exer 
cise. The berth of midshipman, with its prospects of 
preferment and travel, fell within his reach and accept 
ance. Every available opportunity was sought, through 
books of history and travel and acquaintance with men 
of the naval profession, to anticipate its duties and 
requirements. It was Washington s first disappointment 
in life of which there is record, that his mother did not 
share his ardent devotion for the sea and maritime 
adventure. At the age of eleven he lost his father, 
Augustine Washington, but the estate was ample for all 
purposes of Virginia hospitality and home comfort, and 
he felt that he could be spared as well as his brother 
Lawrence. With all the intensity of his high aspiration 
and all the vigor of his earnest and almost passionate 
will, he sought to win his mother s assent to his plans ; 
and then, with filial reverence and a full, gracious sub 
mission, he bent to her wishes and surrendered his 
choice. That was Washington s first victory ; and similar 


self-mastery, under obligation to country, became the 
secret of his imperial success. Irving relates that his 
mother s favorite volume was Sir Matthew Hale s Con 
templations, moral and divine ; and that " the admirable 
maxims therein contained, sank deep into the mind of 
George, and doubtless had a great influence in forming 
his character. That volume, ever cherished, and bearing 
his mother s name, Mary Washington, may still be seen 
in the archives of Mount Vernon." 

But Washington s tastes had become so settled, that 
he followed the general trend of .mathematical and mili 
tary study, until he became so well qualified as a civil 
engineer, that at the age of sixteen, one year after 
abandoning the navy as his profession, he was intrusted 
with important land surveys, by Lord Fairfax ; and at 
the age of nineteen was appointed Military Inspector, 
with the rank of Major. In 1752 he became the Adju 
tant-General of Virginia. Having been born on the 

O O 

twenty-second day of February (February llth, Old 
Style) he was only twenty years of age when this great 
responsibility was intrusted to his charge. 

The period was one of grave concern to the people of 
Virginia, especially as the encroachments of the French 
on the western frontier, and the hostilities of several 
Indian tribes, had emperilled all border settlements ; while 
the British government was not prepared to furnish a 
sufficient military force to meet impending emergencies. 
As soon as Washington entered upon the duties of his 
office, he made a systematic organization of the militia his 
first duty. A plan was formulated, having special refer 
ence to frontier service. His journals and the old 
Colonial records indicate the minuteness with which this 
undertaking was carried into effect. His entire sub 
sequent career is punctuated by characteristics drawn 
from this experience. Rifle practice, feats of horseman- 


ship, signalling, restrictions of diet, adjustments for the 
transportation of troops and supplies with the least pos 
sible encumbrance ; road and bridge building, the care of 
powder and the casting of bullets, were parts of this 
system. These were accompanied by regulations require- 
ing an exact itinerary of every march, which were filed 
for reference, in order to secure the quickest access to 
every frontier post. The duties and responsibilities of 
scouts sent in advance of troops, were carefully defined. 
The passage of rivers, the felling of trees for breast 
works, stockades, and block-houses, and methods of 
crossing swamps, by corduroy adjustments, entered into 
the instruction of the Virginia militia. 

At this juncture it seemed advisable, in the opinion of 
Governor Dinwiddie, to secure, if practicable, a better 
and an honorable understanding with the French com 
manders who had established posts at the west. The 
Indians were hostile to all advances of both British and 
French settlement. There was an indication that the 
French were making friendly overtures to the savages, 
with view to an alliance against the English. In 1753 
Washington was sent as Special Commissioner, for the 
purpose indicated. The journey through a country 
infested with hostile tribes was a remarkable episode in 
the life of the young soldier, and was conducted amid 
hardships that seem, through his faithful diary, to have 
been the incidents of some strangely thrilling fiction rather 
than the literal narrative, modestly given, of personal 
experience. During the journey, full of risks and rare 
deliverances from savage foes, swollen streams, ice, snow, 
and tempest, his keen discernment was quick to mark the 
forks of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers as the 
proper site for a permanent post, to control that region 
and the tributary waters of the Ohio, which united there. 
He was courteouslv received bv St. Pierre, the French 


commandant, but failed to secure the recognition of 
English rights along the Ohio. But Washington s notes 
of the winter s expedition critically record the military 
features of the section traversed by him, and forecast 
the peculiar skill with which he accomplished so much 
in later years, with the small force at his disposal. 

In 1754 he was promoted as Colonel and placed in 
command of the entire Virginia militia. Already, the 
Ohio Company had selected the forks of the river for a 
trading-post and commenced a stockade fort for their 
defence. The details of Washington s march to support 
these pioneers, the establishment and history of Fort 
Necessity, are matters of history. 

Upon assuming command of the Virginia militia, 
Washington decided that a more flexible system than 
that of the European government of troops, was indis 
pensable to success in fighting the combined French and 
Indian forces, then assuming the aggressive against the 
border settlements. Thrown into intimate association 
with General Braddock and assigned to duty as his aid- 
de-camp and guide, he endeavored to explain to that 
officer the unwisdom of his assertion that the very 
appearance of British regulars in imposing array, would 
vanquish the wild warriors of thicket and woods, without 
battle. The profitless campaign and needless fate of 
Braddock are familiar ; but Washington gained credit 
both at home and abroad, youthful as he was, for that 
sagacity, practical wisdom, knowledge of human nature, 
and courage, which ever characterized his life. 

During these marchings and inspections he caused all 
trees which were so near to a post as to shelter an 
advancing enemy, to be felled. The militia were scat 
tered over an extensive range of wild country, in small 
detachments, and he was charged with the defence of 
more than four hundred miles of frontier, with an avail- 


able force of only one thousand men. He at once initi 
ated a system of sharp-shooters for each post. Ranges 
were established, so that fire would not be wasted upon 
assailants before they came within effective distance. 
When he resumed command, after returning from the 
Braddock campaign, he endeavored to reorganize the 
militia upon a new basis. This reorganization drew from 
his fertile brain some military maxims for camp and field 
service which were in harmony with the writings of the 
best military authors of that period, and his study of 
available military works was exact, unremitting, and 
never forgotten. Even during the active life of the 
Revolutionary period, he secured from New York various 
military and other volumes for study, especially including 
Marshal Turenne s Works, which Greene had mastered 
before the war began. 

Washington resigned his commission in 1756 ; married 
Mrs. Martha Custis, Jan. 6, 1759 ; was elected member 
of the Virginia House of Burgesses the same year, and 
was appointed Commissioner to settle military accounts 
in 1765. In the discharge of this trust he manifested 
that accuracy of detail and that exactness of system in 
business concerns which have their best illustration in 
the minute record of his expenses during the Revolution 
ary War, in which every purchase made for the govern 
ment or the army, even to a few horse-shoe nails, is 
accurately stated. 

Neither Caesar s Commentaries, nor the personal record 
of any other historical character, more strikingly illus 
trate an ever-present sense of responsibility to conscience 
and to country, for trusts reposed, than does that of 
Washington, whether incurred in camp or in the whirl 
and crash of battle. Baron Jomini says: "A great 
soldier must have a physical courage which takes no 
account of obstacles ; and a high moral courage capable 


of great resolution." There have been youth, like Han 
nibal, whose earliest nourishment was a taste of ven 
geance against his country s foes, and others have 
imbibed, as did the ancient Hebrew, abnormal strength 
to hate their enemies while doing battle ; but if the charac 
ter of Washington be justly delineated, he was, through 
every refined and lofty channel, prepared, by early apti 
tudes and training, to honor his chosen profession, with 
no abatement of aught that dignifies character, and 
rounds out in harmonious completeness the qualities of a 
consummate statesman and a great soldier. 




IN 1755, four military expeditions were planned by 
the Colonies : one against the French in Nova 
Scotia ; one against Crown Point ; one against Fort 
Niagara, and the fourth, that of Braddock, against the 
French posts along the Ohio river. 

In 1758, additional expeditions were undertaken, the 
first against Louisburg, the second against Ticonderoga, 
and the third against Fort Du Quesne. Washington led 
the advance in the third, a successful attack, Nov. 25, 
1758, thereby securing peace with the Indians on the 
border, and making the fort itself more memorable by 
changing its name to that of Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) 
in memory of William Pitt (Lord Chatham), the eminent 
British statesman, and the enthusiastic friend of America. 

In 1759, Quebec was captured by the combined British 
and Colonial forces, and the tragic death of the two 
commanders, Wolfe and Montcalm, made the closing 
hours of the siege the last opportunity of their heroic 
valor. With the capture of Montreal in 1760, Canada 
came wholly under British control. In view of those 
campaigns, it was not strange that so many Colonial 
participants readily found places in the Continental 
Army at the commencement of the war for American 
Independence, and subsequently urged the acquisition of 
posts on the northern border with so much pertinacity 
and confidence. 



In 1761, Spain joined France against Great Britain, 
but failed of substantial gain through that alliance, 
because the British fleets were able to master the West 
India possessions of Spain, and even to capture the city 
of Havana itself. 

In 1763, a treaty was effected at Paris, which termi 
nated these protracted inter-Colonial wars, so that the 
thirteen American colonies were finally relieved from the 
vexations and costly burdens of aiding the British crown 
to hold within its grasp so many and so widely separated 
portions of the American continent. In the ultimate 
settlement with Spain, England exchanged Havana for 
Florida ; and France, with the exception of the city of 
New Orleans and its immediate vicinity, retired behind 
the Mississippi river, retaining, as a shelter for her 
fisheries, only the Canadian islands of St. Pierre and 
Miquelon, which are still French possessions. 

In view of the constantly increasing imposition of 
taxes upon the Colonies by the mother country, in order 
to maintain her frequent wars with European rivals, by 
land and sea, a convention was held at New York on the 
seventh day of October, 1765, called a Colonial Congress, 
" to consult as to their relations to England, and pro 
vide for their common safety." Nine colonies were 
represented, and three others either ratified the action 
of the convention, or declared their sympathy with 
its general recommendations and plans. The very brief 
advance notice of the assembling of delegates, partly 
accounts for the failure of North Carolina, Virginia, New 
Hampshire, and Georgia, to be represented. But that 
convention made a formal rr Declaration of Rights," 
especially protesting that " their own representatives 
alone had the right to tax them," and " their own juries 
to try them." 

As an illustration of the fact, that the suggestion of 


some common bond to unite the Colonies for general 
defence was not due to the agencies which immediately 
precipitated the American Revolution, it is to be noticed 
that as early as 1697, William Penn urged the union of 
the Colonies in some mutually related common support. 
The Six Nations (Indian), whom the British courted as 
allies against the French, and later, against their own 
blood, had already reached a substantial Union among 
themselves, under the name of the Iroquois Confederacy ; 
and it is a historical fact of great interest, that their con 
stitutional league for mutual support against a common 
enemy, while reserving absolute independence in every 
local function or franchise, challenged the appreciative 
indorsement of Thomas Jefferson when he entered upon 
the preparation of a Constitution for the United States of 

And in 1722, Daniel Coxe, of New Jersey, suggested 
a practical union of the Colonies for the consolidation of 
interests common to each. In 1754, when the British 
government formally advised the Colonies to secure the 
friendship of the Six Nations against the French, Benja 
min Franklin prepared a form for such union. Delegates 
from New England, as well as from New York, Pennsyl 
vania, and Maryland, met at Albany on the fourth of July, 
1754, the very day of the surrender of Fort Necessity to 
the French, for consideration of the suggested plan. The 
King s council rejected it, because it conceded too much 
independence of action to the people of the Colonies, and 
the Colonies refused to accept its provisions, because it 
left too much authority with the King. 

Ten years later, when the Colonies had been freed from 
the necessity of sacrificing men and money to support 
the British authority against French, Spanish, and Indian 
antagonists, the poverty of the British treasury drove 
George Grenville, then Prime Minister, to a system of 


revenue from America, through the imposition of duties 
upon Colonial imports. In 1755 followed the famous 
Stamp Act. Its passage by Parliament was resisted by 
statesmen of clear foresight, with sound convictions of 
the injustice of taxing their brethren in America who had 
no representatives in either House of Parliament ; but in 
vain, and this explosive bomb was hurled across the sea. 
Franklin, then in London, thus wrote to Charles Thomp 
son, who afterwards became secretary of the Colonial 
Congress : " The sun of Liberty has set. The American 
people must light the torch of industry and economy." 
To this Thompson replied : " Be assured that we shall 
light torches of quite another sort." 

The explosion of this missile, charged with death to 
every noble incentive to true loyalty to the mother coun 
try, dropped its inflammatory contents everywhere along 
the American coast. The Assembly of Virginia was first 
to meet, and its youngest member, Patrick Henry, in 
spite of shouts of " Treason," pressed appropriate legis 
lation to enactment. Massachusetts, unadvised of the 
action of Virginia, with equal spontaneity, took formal 
action, inviting the Colonies to send delegates to a Con 
gress in New York, there to consider the grave issues 
that confronted the immediate future. South Carolina 
was the first to respond. When Governor Try on, of 
North Carolina, afterwards the famous Governor of New 
York, asked Colonel (afterwards General) Ashe, Speaker 
of the North Carolina Assembly, what the House would 
do with the Stamp Act, he replied, " We will resist its 
execution to the death." 

On the seventh of October the Congress assembled and 
solemnly asserted, as had a former convention, that 
" their own representatives alone had the right to tax 
them," and " their own juries to try them." Throughout 
the coast line of towns and cities, interrupted business, 


muffled and tolling bells, flags at half-mast, and every 
possible sign of stern indignation and deep distress, indi 
cated the resisting force which was gathering volume to 
hurl a responsive missile into the very council chamber 
of King George himself. 

"Sons of Liberty" organized in force, but secretly; 
arming themselves for the contingency of open conflict. 
Merchants refused to import British goods. Societies of 
the learned professions and of all grades of citizenship 
agreed to dispense with all luxuries of English pro 
duction or import. Under the powerful and magnetic 
sway of Pitt and Burke, this Act was repealed in 1766 ; 
but even this repeal was accompanied by a " Declaratory 
Act," which reserved for the Crown " the right to bind 
the Colonies, in all cases whatsoever." 

Pending all these fermentations of the spirit of liberty, 
George Washington, of Virginia, was among the first to 
recognize the coming of a conflict in which the Colo 
nial troops would no longer be a convenient auxiliary to 
British regulars, in a common cause, but would confront 
them in a life or death struggle, for rights which had 
been guaranteed by Magna Charta, and had become the 
vested inheritance of the American people. Suddenly, 
as if to impress its power more heavily upon the restless 
and overwrought Colonists, Parliament required them to 
furnish quarters and subsistence for the garrisons of 
towns and cities. In 1768, two regiments arrived at 
Boston, ostensibly to "preserve the public peace," but, 
primarily, to enforce the revenue measures of Parlia 

In 1769, Parliament requested the King to "instruct 
the Governor of Massachusetts " to " forward to England 
for trial, upon charges of high treason," several prominent 
citizens of that colony " who had been guilty of denounc 
ing Parliamentary action." The protests of the Provin- 


cud Assemblies of Virginia and North Carolina against 

^ o 

the removal of their citizens, for trial elsewhere, were 
answered by the dissolution of those bodies by their 
respective royal governors. On the fifth day of May, 
1769, Lord North, who had become Prime Minister, pro 
posed to abolish all duties, except upon tea. Later, 
in 1770, occurred the "Boston Massacre," which is ever 
recalled to mind by a monument upon the Boston Com 
mon, in honor of the victims. In 1773 "Committees of 
Correspondence " were selected by most of the Colonies, 
for advising the people of all sections, whenever current 
events seemed to endanger the public weal. One writer 
said of this state of affairs : " Common origin, a common 
language, and common sufferings had already established 
between the Colonies a union of feeling and interest ; 
and now, common dangers drew them together more 

But the tax upon tea had been retained, as the expres 
sion of the reserved right to tax at will, under the weak 
assumption that the Colonists would accept this single tax 
and pay a willing consideration for the use of tea in their 
social and domestic life. The shrewd and patriotic citi 
zens, however boyish it may have seemed to many, 
found a way out of the apparent dilemma, and on the 
night of December 16, 1773, the celebrated Boston Tea 
Party gave an entertainment, using three hundred and 
fifty-two chests of tea for the festive occasion, and Boston 
Harbor for the mixing caldron. 

In 1774, the "Boston Port Bill" was passed, nullifying 
material provisions of the Massachusetts Charter, pro 
hibiting intercourse with Boston by sea, and substituting 
Salem for the port of entry and as the seat of govern 
ment for the Province. It is to be noticed, concerning 
the various methods whereby the Crown approached the 
Colonies, in the attempt to subordinate all rights to the 


royal will, that Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Con 
necticut, until 1692, were charter governments, whereby 
laws were framed and executed by the freemen of each 
colony. The proprietary governments were Pennsylvania 
with Maryland, and at first New York, New Jersey, and 
the Carolinas. In all of these, the proprietors, under 
certain restrictions, established and conducted their own 
systems of rule. There were also the royal govern 
ments, those of New Hampshire, Virginia, Georgia, and 
afterwards Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and 
the Carolinas. In these, appointments of the chief 
officers pertained to the Crown. 

At the crisis noticed, General Gage had been appointed 
Governor of Massachusetts Colony, as well as commander- 
in-chief, and four additional regiments had been de 
spatched to his support. But Salem declined to avail 
herself of the proffered boon of exceptional franchises, 
and the House of Burgesses of Virginia ordered that 
ft the day when the Boston Port Bill was to go into 
effect should be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation, 
and prayer." 

The Provincial Assembly did indeed meet at Salem, 
but solemnly resolved that it was expedient, at once, to 
call a General Congress of all the Colonies, to meet the 
unexpected disfranchisement of the people, and appointed 
five delegates to attend such Congress. All the Colonies 
except Georgia, whose governor prevented the election 
of delegates, were represented. 

This body, known in history as the First Continental 
Congress, assembled in Carpenter s Hall, Philadelphia, on 
the fifth day of September, 1774. Peyton Randolph, of 
Virginia, was elected president, and Charles Thompson, 
of Pennsylvania, was elected secretary. Among the 
representative men who took part in its solemn delibera 
tions must be named Samuel Adams and John Adams, of 


Massachusetts ; Philip Livingstone and John Jay, of 
Xe\v York ; John Dickinson, of Pennsylvania ; Chris 
topher Gadsden and John Rutledge, of South Carolina ; 
Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and George Wash 
ington, of Virginia. 

During an address by Lord Chatham before the British 
House of Lords, he expressed his opinion of the men 
who thus boldly asserted their inalienable rights as 
Englishmen against the usurping mandates of the Crown, 
in these words : "History, my lords, has been my favor 
ite study ; and in the celebrated writers of antiquity 
have I often admired the patriotism of Greece and Rome ; 
but, my lords, I must declare and avow, that in the mas 
ter states of the world, I know not the people, or senate, 
who, in such a complication of difficult circumstances, 
can stand in preference to the delegates of America 
assembled in General Congress at Philadelphia." This 
body resolved to support Massachusetts in resistance to 
the offensive Acts of Parliament ; made a second " Dec 
laration of Rights," and advised an American associa 
tion for non-intercourse with England. It also prepared 
another petition to the King, as well as an address to the 
people of Great Britain and Canada, and then provided 
for another Congress, to be assembled the succeeding 
May. During its sessions, the Massachusetts Assembly 
also convened and resolved itself into a Provincial Con 
gress, electing John Hancock as president, and proceeded 
to authorize a body of militia, subject to instant call, and 
therefore to be designated as " Minute Men." A Com 
mittee of Safety was appointed to administer public 
affairs during the recess of the Congress. When Cap 
tain Robert Mackenzie, of Washington s old regiment, 
intimated that Massachusetts was rebellious, and sought 
independence, Washington used this unequivocal lan 
guage in reply : "If the ministry are determined to push 


matters to extremity, I add, as my opinion, that more 
blood will be spilled than history has ever furnished 
instances of, in the annals of North America ; and such 
a vital wound will be given to the peace of this great 
country, as time itself cannot cure, or eradicate the re 
membrance of." 

Early in 1775 Parliament rejected a "Conciliatory 
Bill," which had been introduced by Lord Chatham, and 
passed an Act in special restraint of New England trade, 
which forbade even fishing on the banks of Newfound 
land. New York, North Carolina, and Georgia were 
excepted, in the imposition of restrictions upon trade in 
the middle and southern Colonies, in order by a marked 
distinction between Colonies, to conserve certain aristo 
cratic influences, and promote dissension among the people ; 
but all such transparent devices failed to subdue the patri 
otic sentiment which had already become universal in its 

At that juncture the English people themselves did not 
apprehend rightly the merits of the dawning struggle, 
nor resent the imposition by Parliament, of unjust, un 
equal, and unconstitutional laws upon their brethren in 
America. Dr. Franklin thus described their servile 
attitude toward the Crown : " Every man in England 
seems to consider himself as a piece of a sovereign ; 
seems to jostle himself into the throne with the King ; and 
talks of * our subjects in the Colonies. " 

The ferment of patriotic sentiment was deep, subtle, 
intense, and ready for deliverance. The sovereignty of 
the British crown and the divine rights of man were to 
be subjected to the stern arbitrament of battle. One 
had fleets, armies, wealth, prestige, and power, unsus- 
tained by the principles of genuine liberty which had 
distinguished the British Constitution above all other 
modern systems of governmental control ; while the scat- 


tered two millions of earnest, patriotic Englishmen across 
the sea, who, from their first landing upon the shores of 
the New World had honored every principle which could 
impart dignity and empire to their mother country, were 
to balance the scale of determining war by the weight of 
loyalty to conscience and to God. 



BRITISH authority, which ought to have gladly 
welcomed and honored the prodigious elasticity, 
energy, and growth of its American dependencies, as the 
future glory and invincible ally of her advancing empire, 
was deliberately arming to convert a natural filial relation 
into one of slavery. The legacies of British law and the 
liberties of English subjects, which the Crown did not 
dare to infringe at home, had been lodged in the hearts 
of her American sons and daughters, until resistance to a 
royal decree had become impossible under any reasonable 
system of paternal care and treatment. Colonial sacri 
fices during Indian wars had been cheerfully borne, and 
free-will offerings of person and property had been 
rendered without stint, upon every demand. But it 
seemed to be impossible for George the Third and his 
chosen advisers to comprehend in its full significance, the 
momentous fact, that English will was as strong and 
stubborn in the child as in the parent. 

Lord Chatham said that " it would be found impossible 
for freemen in England to wish to see three millions of 
Englishmen slaves in America." 

Respecting the attempted seizure of arms rightly in 
the hands of the people, that precipitated the " skirmish, 
as the British defined it, which occurred at Lexington on 
the nineteenth day of April, 1775, Lord Dartmouth said : 
" The effect of General Gage s attempt at Concord will be 


Granville Sharpe, of the Ordnance Department, resigned 
rather than forward military stores to America. 

Admiral Keppel formally requested not to be employed 
against America. 

Lord Effingham resigned, when advised that his regi 
ment had been ordered to America. 

John Wesley, who had visited America many years 
before with his brother, and understood the character of 
the Colonists, at once recalled the appeal once made to 
the British government by General Gage during Novem 
ber, 1774, when he "was confident, that, to begin with, 
an army of twenty thousand men would, in the end, save 
Great Britain both blood and treasure," and declared, 
"Neither twenty thousand, forty thousand, nor sixty 
thousand can end the dawning struggle." 

During the summer of 1774 militia companies had been 
rapidly organized throughout the Colonies. New England 
especially had been so actively associated with all military 
operations during the preceding French and Indian wars, 
that her people more readily assumed the attitude of 
armed preparation for the eventualities of open conflict. 

Virginia had experienced similar conditions on a less 
extended and protracted basis. The action of the First 
Continental Congress on the fifth day of September, 1774, 
when, upon notice that Gage had fortified Boston, it made 
an unequivocal declaration of its sympathy with the people 
of Boston and of Massachusetts, changed the character 
of the struggle from that of a local incident, to one that 
demanded organized, deliberate, and general resistance. 

Notwithstanding the slow course of mail communica 
tions between the widely separated Colonies north and 
south, the deportment of the British Colonial governors 
had been so uniformly oppressive and exacting, that the 
people, everywhere, like tinder, were ready for the first 
flying spark. A report became current during Septein- 


ber, after the forced removal of powder from Cambridge 
and Charlestown, that Boston had been attacked. One 
writer has stated, that, "Avithin thirty-six hours, nearly 
thirty thousand men were under arms." This burst of 
patriotic feeling, this mighty frenzy over unrighteous 
interference with vested rights, made a profound impres 
sion upon the Continental Congress, then in session at 
Philadelphia, and aroused in the mind of Washington, 
then a delegate from Virginia, the most intense anxiety 
lest the urgency of the approaching crisis should find the 
people unprepared to take up the gage of battle, and 
fight with the hope of success. All this simply indicated 
the depth and breadth of the eager sentiment which actu 
ally panted for armed expression. 

The conflict between British troops and armed citizens 
at Lexington had already assumed the characteristics of 
a battle, and, as such, had a more significant import than 
many more pronounced engagements in the world s 
history. The numbers engaged were few, but the men 
who ventured to face British regulars on that occasion 
were but the thin skirmish line in advance of the swell 
ing thousands that awaited the call " To arms." 

Massachusetts understood the immediate demand, hav 
ing now drawn the fire of the hitherto discreet adversary, 
and promptly declared that the necessities of the hour 
required from New England the immediate service of 
thirty thousand men, assuming as her proportionate part 
a force of thirteen thousand six hundred. This was on 
the twenty-second day of April, while many timid souls 
and some social aristocrats were still painfully worrying 
themselves as to who was to blame for anybody s being 
shot on either side. 

On the twenty-fifth day of April, Rhode Island devoted 
fifteen hundred men to the service, as her contribution to 
" An Army of Observation " about Boston. 


On the following day, the twenty-sixth, Connecticut 
tendered her proportion of two thousand men. 

Each Colonial detachment went up to Boston as a 
separate army, with independent organization and respon 
sibility. The food, as well as the powder and ball of 
each, was distinct, and they had little in common except 
the purpose which impelled them to concentrate for a 
combined opposition to the armed aggressions of the Crown. 
And yet, this mass of assembling freemen was not with 
out experience, or experienced leaders. The early wars 
had been largely fought by Provincial troops, side by side 
with British regulars, so that the general conduct of 
armies and of campaigns had become familiar to New 
England men, and many veteran soldiers were prompt to 
volunteer service. Lapse of time, increased age, absorp 
tion in farming or other civil pursuits, had not wholly 
effaced from the minds of retired veterans the memory of 
former experience in the field. If some did not realize 
the expectations of the people and of Congress, the 
promptness with which they responded to the call was no 
less worthy. 

Massachusetts selected, for the immediate command of 
her forces, Artemas Ward, who had served under Aber- 
crombie, with John Thomas, another veteran, as Lieuten- 
ant-General ; and as Engineer-in-Chief, Richard Gridley, 
who had, both as engineer and soldier, earned a deserved 
reputation for skill, courage, and energy. 

Connecticut sent Israel Putnam, who had been inured 
to exposure and hardship in the old French War, and in 
the West Indies. Gen. Daniel Wooster accompanied 
him, and he was a veteran of the first expedition to Louis- 
burg thirty years before, and had served both as Colonel 
and Brigadier-General in the later French War. Gen. 


Joseph Spencer also came from Connecticut. 

Rhode Island intrusted the command of her troops to 


Nathaniel Greene, then but thirty-four years of age, with 
Varnum, Hitchcock, and Church, as subordinates. 

New Hampshire furnished John Stark, also a veteran 
of former service ; and both Pomeroy and Prescott, who 
soon took active part in the operations about Boston, had 
participated in Canadian campaigns. 

These, and others, assembled in council, for considera 
tion of the great interests which they had been summoned 
to protect by force of arms. At this solemn juncture of 
affairs, the youngest of their number, Nathaniel Greene, 
whose subsequent career became so significant a factor 
in that of Washington the Soldier, submitted to his 
associates certain propositions which he affirmed to be 
indispensable conditions of success in a war against the 
British crown. These propositions read to-day, as if, 
like utterances of the old Hebrew prophets, they had 
been inspired rules for assured victory. And, one hun 
dred years later, when the American Civil War unfolded 
its vast operations and tasked to the utmost all sections 
to meet their respective shares in the contest, the same 
propositions had to be incorporated into practical legis 
lation before any substantial results were achieved on 
either side. 

It is a historical fact that the failures and successes of 
the War of American Independence fluctuated in favor 
of success, from year to year, exactly in proportion to 
the faithfulness with which these propositions were illus 
trated in the management and conduct of the successive 

The propositions read as follows : 
I. That there be one Commander-in-Chief. 
II. That the army should be enlisted for the war. 

III. That a system of bounties should be ordained 
which would provide for the families of soldiers absent in 
the field. 


IV. That the troops should serve wherever required 
throughout the Colonies. 

V. That funds should be borrowed equal to the 
demands of the war and for the complete equipment 
and support of the army. 

VI. That Independence should be declared at once, and 
every resource of every Colony be pledged to its support. 

In estimating the character of Washington the Soldier, 
and accepting these propositions as sound, it is of inter 
est to be introduced to their author. 

The youthful tastes and pursuits of Nathaniel Greene, 
of Rhode Island, those which shaped his subsequent life 
and controlled many battle issues, were as marked as were 
those of Washington. Unlike his great captain, he had 
neither wealth, social position, nor family antecedents to 
inspire military endeavor. A Quaker youth, at fourteen 
years of age he saved time from his blacksmith s forge, 
and by its light mastered geometry and Euclid. Provi 
dence threw in his way Ezra Stiles, then President of 
Yale College, and Lindley Murray, the grammarian, and 
each of them became his fast friend and adviser. 

Before the war began, he had carefully studied " Caesar s 
Commentaries," Marshal Turenne s Works, " Sharpe s 
Military Guide," " Blackstone s Commentaries," "Jacobs 
Law Dictionary," "Watts Logic," "Locke on the Human 
Understanding," "Ferguson on Civil Society," Swift s 
Works, and other models of a similar class of literature 
and general science. 

In 1773, he visited Connecticut, attended several of 
its militia "trainings," and studied their methods of 
instruction and drill. In 1774, he visited Boston, to 
examine minutely the drill, quarters, and commissary 
arrangements of the British regular troops. Incidentally, 
he met one evening, at a retired tavern on India wharf, 
a British sergeant who had deserted. He persuaded him 


to accompany him back to Rhode Island, where he made 
him drill-instructor of the " Kentish Guards," a company 
with which Greene was identified. Such was the pro 
ficiency in arms, deportment, and general drill realized 
by this company, through their joint effort, that more 
than thirty of the members became commissioned officers 
in the subsequent war. 

The character of the men of that period, as in the 
American Civil War, supplied the military service with 
soldiers of the best intelligence and of superior physical 
capacities. Very much of the energy and success which 
attended the progress of the American army was trace 
able to these qualities, as contrasted with those of the 
British recruits and the Hessian drafted men. 

Greene himself, unconsciously but certainly, was pre 
paring himself and his comrades for the impending 
struggle which already cast its shadow over the outward 
conditions of peace. Modest, faithful, dignified, un 
daunted by rebuffs or failure, and as a rule, equable, 
self-sacrificing, truthful, and honest, he possessed much 
of that simple grandeur of character which characterized 
George H. Thomas and Robert E. Lee, of the American 
conflict, 18615. His patriotism, as he announced his 
propositions to the officers assembled before Cambridge, 
was like that of Patrick Henry, of Virginia, who shortly 
after made this personal declaration : " Landmarks and 
boundaries are thrown down ; distinctions between Vir 
ginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Eng- 
landers are no more ; " adding, " I am not a Virginian, but 
an American." 

By the middle of June, and before the Battle of Bunker 
Hill (Breed s Hill) , the Colonies were substantially united 
for war. During the previous month of March, Richard 
Henry Lee had introduced for adoption by the second 
Virginia Convention, a resolution that " the Colony be 


immediately put in a state of defence," and advocated the 
immediate reorganization, arming, and discipline of the 

A hush of eager expectancy and an almost breathless 
waiting for some mysterious summons to real battle, 
seemed to pervade both north and south alike, when a 
glow in the east indicated the signal waited for, and even 
prayed for. The very winds of heaven seemed to bear the 
sound and name of the first conflict in arms. In six days 
it reached Maryland. Intermediate Colonies, in turn, had 
responded to the summons, " To arms." Greene s Kent 
ish Guards started for Boston, at the next break of day. 
The citizens of Rhode Island caught his inspiration, took 
possession of more than forty British cannon, and asserted 
their right and purpose to control all Colonial stores. 

New York organized a Committee of Public Safety, 
first of a hundred, and then of a thousand, of her rep 
resentative men, as a solid guaranty of her ardent sym 
pathy with the opening struggle, declaring that " all the 
horrors of civil war could not enforce her submission to 
the acts of the British crown." The Custom-house and the 
City Hall were seized by the patriots. Arming and drill 
ing were immediate ; and even by candle-light and until 
late hours, every night, impassioned groups of boys, 
as well as men, rehearsed to eager listeners the story of 
the first blood shed at Concord and Lexington ; and 
strong men exchanged vows of companionship in arms, 
whatever might betide. Lawyers and ministers, doctors 
and teachers, merchants and artisans, laborers and sea 
men, mingled together as one in spirit and one in action. 
An " Association for the defence of Colonial Rights " was 
formed, and on the twenty-second of May the Colonial 
Assembly was succeeded by a Provincial Congress, and 
the new order of government went into full effect. 

In New Jersey, the people, no less prompt, practical, 


and earnest, seized one hundred thousand dollars belong 
ing to the Provincial treasury, and devoted it to raising- 
troops for defending the liberties of the people. 

The news reached Philadelphia on the twenty-fourth 
of April, and there, also, was no rest, until action took 
emphatic form. Prominent men, as in New York, 
eagerly tendered service and accepted command, so that 
on the first day of May the Pennsylvania Assembly made 
an appropriation of money to raise troops. Benjamin 
Franklin, but just returned from England, was made 
chairman of a Committee of Safety, and the whole city 
was aroused in hearty support of the common cause. 
The very Tory families which afterwards ministered to 
General Howe s wants, and nattered Benedict Arnold by 
their courtesies, did not venture to stem the patriotic 
sentiment of the hour. 

Virginia caught the flying spark. No flint was needed 
to fire the waiting tinder there. Lord Dunmore had 
already sent the powder of the Colony on board a vessel 
in the harbor. Patrick Henry quickly gathered the 
militia in force, to board the vessel and seize the powder. 
By way of compromise, the powder was paid for, but 
Henry was denounced as a "traitor." The excitement 
was not abated, but intensified by this action, until Lord 
Dunmore, terrified, and powerless to stem the surging 
wave of patriotic passion, took refuge upon the man-of- 
war Fowey, then in the York river. 

The Governor of North Carolina, as early as April, 
had quarrelled with the people of that Colony, in his ef 
fort to prevent the organization of a Provincial Congress. 
But so soon as the news was received from Boston of the 
opening struggle, the Congress assembled. Detached 
meetings were everywhere held in its support, and from 
all sides one sentiment was voiced, and this was its 
utterance : "The cause of Boston is the cause of all. Our 


destinies are indissolubly connected with those of our 
eastern fellow-citizens. We must either submit to the 
impositions which an unprincipled and unrepresented 
Parliament may impose, or support our bretheren who 
have been doomed to sustain the first shock of Parliamen 
tary power; which, if successful there, will ultimately 
overwhelm all, in one common calamity." Conformable 
to these principles, a Convention assembled at Charlotte, 
Mecklenburg County, on the twentieth of May, 1775, and 
unanimously adopted the Instrument, ever since known 
as The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. 

In South Carolina, on the twenty-first day of April, a 
secret committee of the people, appointed for the purpose, 
forcibly entered the Colonial magazine and carried away 
eight hundred stands of arms and two hundred cutlasses. 
Thomas Corbett, a member of this committee, secured 
and opened a royal package just from England, contain 
ing orders to governors of each of the southern Colonies 
to " seize all arms and powder." These were forwarded 
to the Continental Congress. Another despatch, dated 
at "Palace of Whitehall, December 23d," stated that 
" seven regiments were in readiness to proceed to the 
southern Colonies ; first to North Carolina, thence to 
Virginia, or South Carolina, as circumstances should 
point out." These intercepted orders contained an 
" Act of Parliament, forbidding the exportation of arms 
to the Colonies," and stimulated the zeal of the patriots 
to secure all within their reach. Twenty days later, the 
tidings from the north reached Charleston, adding fuel to 
the flame of the previous outbreak. 

At Savannah, Ga., six members of the " Council of 
Safety " broke open the public magazine, before receipt 
of news from the north, seized the public powder and 
bore it away for further use. Governor Wright addressed 
a letter to General Gage at Boston, asking for troops, 


" to awe the people." This was intercepted, and through 
a counterfeit signature General Gage was advised, "that 
the people were coming to some order, and there would 
be no occasion for sending troops." 

Such is the briefest possible outline of the condition of 
public sentiment throughout the country, of Avhich Wash 
ington was well advised, so far as the Committee of the 
Continental Congress, of which he was a member, could 
gather the facts at that time. 

Meanwhile, Boston was surrounded by nearly twenty 
thousand Minute Men. These Minute Men made persist 
ent pressure upon every artery through which food could 
flow to relieve the hungry garrison within the British lines. 

Neither was the excitement limited to the immediate 
surroundings. Ethan Allen, who had migrated from 
Connecticut to Vermont, led less than a hundred of 
"Green Mountain Boys," as they were styled, to Ticon- 
deroga, which he captured on the tenth of May. Bene 
dict Arnold, of New Haven, with forty of the company 
then and still known as the Governor s Guards, rushed to 
Boston without waiting for orders, and then to Lake 
Champlain, hoping to raise an army on the way. Although 
anticipated by Ethan Allen in the capture of Ticonderoga, 
he pushed forward toward Crown Point and St. John s, 
captured and abandoned the latter, organized a small naval 
force, and with extraordinary skill defeated the British 
vessels and materially retarded the advance of the British 
flotilla and British troops from the north. 

These feverish dashes upon frontier posts were signifi 
cant of the general temper of the people, their desire to 
secure arms and military supplies supposed to be in those 
forts, and indicated their conviction that the chief danger 
to New England was through an invasion from Canada. 
But the absorbing cause of concern was the deliverance 
of Boston from English control. 



Second Continental Congress convened on the 
JL tenth day of May, 1775. On the same day, Ethan 
Allen captured Ticonderoga, also securing two hundred 
cannon which were afterwards used in the siege of 
Boston. Prompt measures were at once taken by Con 
gress for the purchase and manufacture of both cannon 
and powder. The emission of two millions of Spanish 
milled dollars was authorized, and twelve Colonies were 
pledged for the redemption of Bills of Credit, then 
directed to be issued. At the later, September, session, 
the Georgia delegates took their seats, and made the ac 
tion of the Colonies unanimous. 

A formal system of " Rules and Articles of War " was 
adopted, and provision was made for organizing a mili 
tary force fully adequate to meet such additional troops 
as England might despatch to the support of General 
Gage. Further than this, all proposed enforcement by 
the British crown of the offensive Acts of Parliament, 
was declared to be " unconstitutional, oppressive, and 

Meanwhile, the various New England armies were 
scattered in separate groups, or cantonments, about the 
City of Boston, with all the daily incidents of petty 
warfare which attach to opposing armies within striking 
-distance, when battle action has not yet reached its desira 
ble opportunity. And yet, a state of war had been so far 



recognized that an exchange of prisoners was effected as 
early as the sixth day of June. General Howe made the first 
move toward open hostilities by a tender of pardon to all 
offenders against the Crown except Samuel Adams and 
John Hancock ; and followed up this ostentatious and 
absurd proclamation by a formal declaration of Martial 

The Continental Congress as promptly responded, by 
adopting the militia about Boston, as " The American 
Continental Army." 

On the fourteenth day of June, a Light Infantry organ 
ization of expert riflemen was authorized, and its com 
panies were assigned to various Colonies for enlistment 
and immediate detail for service about Boston. 

On the fifteenth day of June, 1775, Congress author 
ized the appointment, and then appointed George 
Washington, of Virginia, as " Commander-in-Chief of 
the forces raised, or to be raised, in defence of American 
Liberties." On presenting their commission to Washing 
ton it was accompanied by a copy of a Resolution unani 
mously adopted by that body, "That they would maintain 
and assist him, and adhere to him, with their lives and 
fortunes, in the cause of American Liberty." 

It is certain from the events above outlined, which 
preceded the Revolutionary struggle, that when Washing 
ton received this spontaneous and unanimous appointment, 
he understood definitely that the Colonies were substan 
tially united in the prosecution of war, at whatever cost 
of men and money ; that military men of early service and 
large experience could be placed in the field ; that the 
cause was one of intrinsic right ; and that the best 
intellects, as well as the most patriotic statesmen, of all 
sections, were ready, unreservedly, to submit their des 
tinies to the fate of the impending struggle. He had been 
upon committees on the State of Public Affairs ; was 


Constantly consulted as to developments, at home and 
abroad ; was familiar with the dissensions among British 
statesmen ; and had substantial reasons for that sublime 
faith in ultimate victory which never for one hour failed 
him in the darkness of the protracted struggle. He also 
understood that not statesmen alone, preeminently Lord 
Dartmouth, but the best soldiers of Great Britain had 
regarded the military occupation of Boston, where the 
Revolutionary sentiment was most pronounced, and the 
population more dense as well as more enlightened, to be 
a grave military as well as political error. And yet, as 
the issue had been forced, it must be met as proffered ; 
and the one immediate and paramount objective must be 
the expulsion of the British garrison and the deliverance 
of Boston. It will appear, however, as the narrative 
develops its incidents, that he never lost sight of the ex 
posed sea-coast cities to the southward, nor of that royal- 
list element which so largely controlled certain aristocratic 
portions of New York, New Jersey, and the southern 
cities, which largely depended upon trade with Great 
Britain and the West Indies for their independent fort 
unes and their right royal style of living. Neither did he 
fail to realize that delay in the siege of Boston, however 
unavoidable, was dangerous to the rapid prosecution of 
general war upon a truly military plan of speedy accom 

His first duty was therefore with his immediate com 
mand, and the hour had arrived for the consolidation of 
the various Colonial armies into one compact, disciplined, 
and effective force, to battle with the best troops of Great 
Britain which now garrisoned Boston and controlled its 

Reinforcements under Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne 
had already increased the strength of that garrison to 
nearly ten thousand men. It had become impatient of 


confinement, and restive under the presence of increas 
ing but ill-armed adversaries who eagerly challenged 
every picket post, and begrudged every market product 
smuggled, or snatched, by the purveyors or officers and 
soldiers of the Crown. Besides all this, the garrison 
began to realize the fate which afterwards befell that of 
Clinton in Philadelphia, in the demoralization and loss 
of discipline which ever attach to an idle army when 
enclosed within city limits. When Burgoyne landed at 
Boston, to support Gage, he contemptuously spoke of "ten 
thousand peasants who kept the King s troops shut up." 
Gradually, the peasants encroached upon the outposts. 
An offensive movement to occupy Charlestown Heights 
and menace the Colonial headquarters at Cambridge, with 
a view to more decisive action against their maturing 
strength, had been planned and was ready for execution. 
It was postponed, as of easy accomplishment at leisure ; 
but the breaking morning of June 17, 1775, revealed 
the same Heights to be in possession of the "peasant" 
militia of America. 

The Battle of Bunker Hill followed. Each force en 
gaged lost one-third of its numbers, but the aggregate 
of the British loss was more than double that of the 
Colonies. It made a plain issue between the Colonists 
and the British army, and was no longer a controversy of 
citizens with the civil authority. The impatience of the 
two armies to have a fight had been gratified, and when 
Franklin was advised of the facts, and of the nerve with 
which so small a detachment of American militia had 
faced and almost vanquished three times their number of 
British veterans, he exclaimed, " The King has lost his 

Many of the officers who bore part in that determining 
action gained new laurels in later years. Prescott, who 
led his thousand men to that achievement, served with 


no less gallantry in New York. Stark, so plucky and 
persistent along the Mystic river, was afterwards as 
brave and dashing at Trenton, Bennington, and Spring 
field. And Seth Warner, a volunteer at Bunker Hill, 
and comrade of Allen in the capture of Ticonderoga, par 
ticipated in the battles of Hubbardton and Bennington, 
and the Saratoga campaign, during the invasion of Bur- 
goyne in 1777. 

Of the British participants, or spectators, a word is 
due. Clinton, destined to be Washington s chief antag 
onist, had urged General Howe to attack Washington s 
army at Cambridge, before it could mature into a well 
equipped and well disciplined force. He was overruled by 
General Howe, who with all his scientific qualities as a 
soldier, never, in his entire military career, was quick to 
follow up an advantage once acquired ; and soon after, the 
junior officer was transferred to another field of service. 

Percy, gallant in the action of June 17th, was destined 
to serve with credit at Long Island, White Plains, 
Brandywine, and Newport. 

Rawdon, then a lieutenant, who gallantly stormed the 
redoubt on Breed s Hill, and received in his arms the 
body of his captain, Harris, of the British 5th Infantry, 
was destined to win reputation at Camden and Hob- 
kirk s HilJ, but close his military career in America as 
a prisoner of war to the French. 

The British retained and fortified Bunker Hill, and the 
time had arrived for more systematic American operations, 
and the presence of the Commander-in-Chief. 

Congress had appointed the following general officers 
as Washington s associates in conduct of the war. 

Major- Generals. 

Some of these have been already noticed. 


CHARLES LEE, a retired officer of the British Army, a 
military adventurer under many flags, a resident of Vir 
ginia, an acquaintance of Washington, and ambitious to 
be first in command. 

PHILIP SCHUYLER, then a member of Congress ; a 
man of rare excellence of character, who had served in 
the French and Indian War, and took part in Abercrom- 
bie s Ticonderoga campaign. 


Brigadier- Generals. 


KICHARD MONTGOMERY, who served gallantly under 
Wolfe before Quebec, in 1759, and in the West Indies, 
in 1762. 


WILLIAM HEATH, who, previous to the war, was a 
vigorous writer upon the necessity of military discipline 
and a thoroughly organized militia. 

JOSEPH SPENCER, of Connecticut, also a soldier of the 
French and Indian War, both as Major and Lieutenant- 

JOHN THOMAS, also a soldier of the French and Ind 
ian War, and in command of a regiment at Cambridge, 
recruited by himself. 

JOHN SULLIVAN, a lawyer of New Hampshire, of Irish 
blood ; a member of the First Continental Congress, and 
quick in sympathy with the first movement for armed 
resistance to British rule. 

NATHANIEL GREENE, already in command of the 
Rhode Island troops. 

Congress had also selected as Adjutant-General of the 
Army, HORATIO GATES, of Virginia, who, like Lee, had 
served in the British regular army ; commanded a com 
pany in the Braddock campaign, and gained some credit 


for bravery at the capture of Martinique, in the West 
Indies. He was also known to Washington, and shared 
with Lee in aspiration to the chief command. 

If Washington had possessed prophetic vision, even 
his sublime faith might have wavered in view of that 
unfolding future which would leave none of these general 
officers by his side at the last conflict of the opening war. 

Ward, somewhat feeble in body, would prove unequal 
to active service ; lack the military acuteness and dis 
cernment which the crisis would demand, and retire from 
view with the occupation of Boston. 

Lee, so like Arnold in volcanic temper, would be early 
detached for other service, in Connecticut, New York, 
New Jersey, and South Carolina ; would become a 
prisoner of war at New York ; would propose to the 
British authorities a plan for destroying the American 
army ; would escape execution as a British deserter, on 
exchange ; and afterwards, at the Battle of Monmouth, 
so nearly realize his suggestion to General Howe, as to 
show that his habitual abuse of Congress and his jealousy 
of his Commander-in-Chief were insufficiently atoned for 
by dismissal from the army, and the privilege of dying in 
his own bed, unhonored and unlaniented. 

Schuyler, devoted to his country, with rare qualities 
as a gentleman and with a polish of manner and elegance 
of carriage that for the time made him severely unpopular 
with the staid stock of New England, would serve with 
credit in Canada ; organize the army which Gates would 
command at Saratoga ; be supplanted by that officer ; 
retire from service because of poor health ; but ever 
prove worthy of the confidence and love of his com- 
mander-in-chief. Of him, Chief-Justice Kent would 
draw a pen-picture of " unselfish devotion, wonderful 
energy, and executive ability." Of him, Daniel Webster 
would speak, in an august presence, in these terms : ff I 


was brought up with New England prejudices against 
him ; but I consider him second only to Washington in 
the service he rendered to his country in the War of the 

Putnam, who had been conspicuously useful at Bunker 
Hill, would, because of Greene s illness, suddenly succeed 
that officer in command on Long Island, without previous 
knowledge of the works and the surrounding country ; 
would, feebly and without system, attempt to defend the 
lines against Howe s advance ; would serve elsewhere, 
trusted indeed, but without battle command, and be 
remembered as a brave soldier and a good citizen, but, 
as a general officer, unequal to the emergencies of field 

Pomeroy, brave at Bunker Hill, realizing the respon 
sibilities attending the consolidation of the army for 
active campaign duty, would decline the proffered com 

Montgomery, would accompany Schuyler to Canada, 
full of high hope, and yet discover in the assembled 
militia such utter want of discipline and preparation to 
meet British veterans, as to withhold his resignation 
only when his Commander-in- Chief pleaded his own 
greater disappointments before Cambridge. 

The perspective-glass will catch its final glimpse of 
Montgomery, when, after the last bold dash of his life, 
under the walls of Quebec, his body is borne to the grave 
and buried with military honors, by his old comrade in 
arms, Sir Guy Carleton, the British general in com 

Wooster, then sixty-four years of age, would join 
Montgomery at Montreal ; waive his Connecticut rank ; 
serve under his gallant leader ; be recalled from service 
because unequal to the duties of active command ; would 
prove faithful and noble wherever he served, and fall, 


defending the soil of his native State from Tryon s inva 
sion, in 1777. 

Heath, would supplement his service on the Massa 
chusetts Committee of Safety by efficient duty at New 
York, White Plains, and along the Hudson, ever true as 
patriot and soldier ; but fail to realize in active service 
that discipline of men and that perception of the value 
of campaign experience which had prompted his literary 
efforts before he faced an enemy in battle. 

Spencer, would discharge many trusts early in the 
war, with fidelity, but without signal ability or success, 
and transfer his sphere of patriotic duty to the halls of 

Thomas, would prove efficient in the siege of Boston, 
and serve in Canada. 

Sullivan, would also enter Canada ; become a prisoner 
of war at Long Island ; be with Washington at White 
Plains ; succeed to the command of Lee s division after 
the capture of that officer ; distinguish himself at Trenton ; 
serve at Brandywine ; do gallant service at German- 
town ; attempt the capture of Staten Island and of New 
port ; chastise the Indians of New York, and resign, to 
take a seat in Congress. 

Greene, would attend his chief in the siege of Boston ; 
fortify Brooklyn Heights ; engage in operations about 
Forts Washington and Lee ; take part in the battles of 
Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, Mon- 
mouth, Newport, and Springfield ; would then succeed 
Gates at the south, fight the battles of Guilford Court 
House, Hobkirk Hill, and Eutaw Springs, and close his 
life in Georgia, the adopted home of his declining 

But, during the midsummer of 1775, the beleaguered 
City of Boston, astounded by the stolid and bloody resist 
ance to its guardian garrison, began to measure the cost 


of loyalty to the King, in preference to loyalty to country 
and duty ; while the enclosed patriots began to assure 
themselves that deliverance was drawing near. Bur- 
goyne, after watching the battle from Copp s Hill, in 
writing to England of this "great catastrophe," prepared 
the Crown for that large demand for troops upon which 
he afterwards conditioned his acceptance of a command in 

The days of waiting for a distinct battle-issue had 
been fulfilled. The days of waiting for the consolidation 
of the armies about Boston, under one competent guide 
and master, also passed. Washington had left Philadel 
phia and was journeying toward Cambridge. 

[Etching from II. H. Hall s Sons engraving.] 



ON the twenty-first day of June, 1775, Washington 
left Philadelphia for Boston, and on the third day 
of July assumed command of the Continental Army of 
America, with headquarters at Cambridge. 

At this point one is instinctively prompted to peer 
into the closed tent of the Commander-in-Chief and 
observe his modest, but wholly self-reliant attitude toward 
the grave questions that are to be settled, in determining 
whether the future destiny of America is to be that of 
liberty, or abject submission to the Crown. 

For fully two months the yeomanry of New England 
had firmly grasped all approaches to the City of Boston. 
This pressure was now and then resisted by efforts of the 
garrison to secure supplies from the surrounding country 
farms ; which only induced a tighter hold, and aroused a 
stubborn purpose to crowd that garrison to surrender, or 
escape by sea. The islands of the beautiful bay and of 
the Nantasket roadstead had become miniature fields of 
daily conflict ; and persistent efforts to procure bullocks, 
flour, and other needed provisions, through the boats of 
the British fleet, only developed a counter system of boat 
operations which neutralized the former, and gradually 
restricted the country excursions of the troops within 
the city to the range of their guns. 

And yet the beleaguering force had fluctuated every 
day, so that but few of the hastily improvised regiments 



maintained either identity of persons, or permanent num 
bers. Exchanges were frequent between those on duty 
and others at their homes. The sudden summons from 
so many and varied industrial pursuits and callings was 
like the unorganized rush of men at an alarm of tire, 
quickened by the conviction that some wide, sweeping, 
and common danger was to be withstood, or some devour 
ing element to be mastered. The very independence of 
opinion and sense of oppression which began to assert 
a claim to absolutely independent nationality, became im-. 
patient of all restraint, until military control, however 
vital to organized success, had become tiresome, offensive, 
and sharply contested. Offices also, as in more modern 
times, had been conferred upon those who secured enlist 
ments, and too often without regard to character or 
signal merit ; while the familiarities of former neighbor- 

o o 

hood friends and acquaintances ill-fitted them to bear 
rigid control by those who had been, only just before, 
companions on a common level. 

Jealousies and aspirations mingled with the claims of 
families left at home, and many local excitements attended 
the efforts of officers of the Crown to discharge their 
most simple duties. After the flash of Lexington and its 
hot heat had faded out, it was dull work to stand guard 
by day, lie upon the ground at night, live a life of half 
lazy routine, receive unequal and indifferent food, and 
wonder, between meals, when and how the whole affair 
would end. The capture of Ticonderoga, so easily af 
fected, inclined many to regard the contest before Boston 
as a matter of simple, persistent pressure, with no provi 
dent conception of the vast range of conflict involved in 
this defiance of the British Crown, in which all Colonies 
must pass under the rolling chariot of Avar. 

And yet, all these elements were not sufficiently 
relaxing to permit the enclosed "garrison to go free. 


While thousands of the Minute Men were apparently list 
less, and taking the daily drudgery as a matter-of-course 
experience, not to be helped or be rid of, there were 
many strong-willed men among them who held settled and 
controlling convictions, so that even the raw militia were 
generally under wise guardianship. Leading scholars 
and professional men, as well as ministers of the Gospel 
and teachers of the district schools, united their influence 
with that of some well-trained soldiers, to keep the force 
in the field at a comparatively even strength of numbers. 
The idle were gradually set to work, and occupation 
began to lighten the strain of camp life. 

At the date of Washington s arrival to take command, 
there was a practical suspension of military operations 
over the country at large ; and this condition of affairs, 
together with the large display of Colonial force about 
Boston, gave the other Colonies opportunity to prepare 
for war, and for Washington to develop his army and 
test both officers and men. 

In his tent at Cambridge, he opened the packages 
intrusted to his care by Congress, and examined the 
commissions of the officers who were to share his councils 
and execute his will. His own commission gave him 
all needed authority, and pledged the united Colonies to 
his hearty support. Confidence in his patriotism, his 
wisdom, and his military capacity was generous and 
complete. He represented Congress. He represented 
America. For a short time he withheld the delivery of a 
few of the commissions. Some officers, hastily commis 
sioned, although formerly in military service, had been 
entirely isolated from opportunities for knowledge of 
men and of questions of public policy. The emergency 
required such as were familiar with the vast interests 
involved in a struggle in arms with Great Britain ; men 
who would heartily submit to that strict discipline which 


preparation for a contest with the choicest troops of 
the mother-country must involve. 

Washington s constitutional reticence deepened from 
his first assumption of command. Frederick the Great 
once declared that " if he suspected that his nightcap 
would betray his thoughts while, he slept, he would burn 
it." Washington, like Frederick, and like Grant and 
Lee, great soldiers of the American Civil War, largely 
owed his success and supremacy over weak or jealous 
companions in arms to this subtle power. And this, 
with Washington, was never a studied actor s part in 
the drama of Revolution. It was based upon a devout, 
reverential, and supreme devotion to country and the 
right. His moral sense was delicate, and quick to dis 
cern the great object of the people s need and desire. 
He was also reverential in recognition of an Almighty 
Father of all mankind, whose Providence he regarded as 
constant, friendly, and supervising, in all the struggle 
which America had undertaken for absolute independence. 
Under this guidance, he learned how to act with judicial 
discretion upon the advice of his subordinates, and then, 
to execute his own sentence. Baron Jomini pronounced 
Napoleon to have been his own best chief-of-staff ; and 
such was Washington. Congress discovered as the years 
slipped by, and jealousies of Washington, competitions 
for office and for rank, and rivalries of cities, sections, 
and partisans, endangered the safety of the nation and 
the vital interests involved in the war, to trust his judg 
ment ; and history has vindicated the wisdom of their 
conclusion. And yet, with all this will-power in reserve, 
he was patient, tolerant, considerate of the honest con 
victions of those with contrary opinions ; and so assigned 
officers, or detailed them upon special commissions, that, 
when not overborne by Congress in the detail of some of 
its importunate favorites, he succeeded in placing officers 


where their weaknesses could not prejudice the interests 
of the country at large, and where their faculties could be 
most fruitfully utilized. 

If the thoughtful reader will for a moment recall the 
name of some battle-field of the Revolution, or of any 
prominent military character who was identified with some 
determining event of that war, he will quickly notice how 
potentially the foresight of Washington either directed the 
conditions of success, or wisely compensated the effects 
of failure. 

Washington never counted disappointments as to single 
acts of men, or the operations of a single command, as 
determining factors in the supreme matter of final suc 
cess. The vaulting ambition, headstrong will, and fiery 
daring of Arnold never lessened an appreciation of his 
real merits, and he acquired so decided an affection for 
him, personally, and was so disappointed that Congress 
did not honor his own request for Arnold s prompt pro 
motion, at one time, that when his treason was fully 
revealed, he could only exclaim, with deep emotion, 
Whom now can we trust?" 

Even the undisguised jealousy of Charles Lee, his 
cross-purposes, disobedience of orders, abuse of Con 
gress, breaches of confidence, and attempts to warp coun 
cils of war adversely to the judgment of the Cornmander- 
in-Chief did not forfeit Washington s recognition of that 
officer s general military knowledge and his ordinary 
wisdom in council. 

These considerations fully introduce the Commander-in- 
Chief to the reader, as he imagines the Soldier to be in his 
tent with the commissions of subordinate officers before him. 

He began his duties with the most minute inspection of 
the material with which he was expected to carry on a 
-contest with Great Britain. Every company and regi 
ment, their quarters, their arms, ammunition, and food 


supplies, underwent the closest scrutiny. He accepted 
excuses for the slovenliness of any command with the 
explicit warning that repetition of such indifference or 
neglect would be sternly punished. 

The troops had hardly been dismissed, after their first 
formal parade for inspection, before a set repugnance to 
all proper instruction in the details of a soldier s duty 
became manifest. The old method of fighting Indians 
singly, through thickets, and in small detachments, each 
man for himself, was clung to stubbornly, as if the army 
.were composed of individual hunters, who must each 
." bag his own game." Guard duty was odious. Superi 
ority by virtue of rank was questioned, denied, or ig 
nored. The abuses of places of trust, especially in the 
quartermaster and commissary departments, and the 
prostitution of these responsibilities to private ends were 
constant. " Profanity, vulgarity, and all the vices of 
an undisciplined mass became frightful," as Washington 
himself described the condition, " so soon as any imme 
diate danger passed by." To sum up the demoraliza 
tion of the army, he could only add, " They have been 
trained to have their own way too long." 

But the good, the faithful, and the pure were hardly 
less restive under the new restraint, and few appreciated 
the vital value of some absolutely supreme control. The 
public moneys and public property were held to belong 
to everybody, because Congress represented everybody. 
Commands were considered despotic orders, and exact 
details Avere but another system of slavery. 

Nor was this the whole truth. Even officers of high 
position, whether graded above or below their own expec 
tations, found time to indulge in petty neglect of plain 
instructions, and in turn to usurp authority, in defiance 
of discipline and the paramount interests of the people at 


The inspection of the Commander-in-Chief had been 
made. Immediately, the troops were put to work per 
fecting earthworks, building redoubts, and policing camp. 
" Observance of the Sabbath " was enforced. Officers 
were court-martialed, and soldiers were tried, for" swear 
ing, gambling, fraud, and lewdness." A thorough 
system of guard and picket duty was established, and 
the nights were made subservient to rest, in the place of 
dissipation and revelry. Discipline was the first indica- 
tion_that.a Soldier was in command. 

These statements, which are brief extracts from his 
published Orders, fall far below a just review of the situ 
ation as given by Washington himself. From some of 
his reports to Congress it would seem as if, for a 
moment, he almost despaired of bringing the army to a 
condition when he might confidently take it into an open 
Held, and place it, face to face, against any well-appointed 
force of even inferior numbers. That he was enabled so 
to discipline an army that, as at Brandy wine, they will 
ingly marched to meet a British and Hessian force one- 
half greater than his own in numbers, became a complete 
justification of the patience and wise persistence with 
which he handled the raw troops in camp about Cambridge, 
in the year 1775. 

His next care was " the practical art of bringing the 
army fully equipped to the battle-field," known as the 
"Logistics of War." The army was deficient in every 
element of supply. The men, who still held their Colonial 
obligation to be supreme, came and went just as their 
engagements would permit and the comfort of their fami 
lies required. Desertion was regarded as nothing, or at 
the worst but a venial offence, and there were times when 
the American army about Boston, through nine miles of. 
investment, was less in number than the British garrison 
within the city. 


But the deficiency in the number of the men was not 
BO conspicuous and disappointing as the want of powder, 
lead, tools, arms, tents, horses, carts, and medical 
supplies. Ordinary provisions had become abundant. 
The adjacent country fed them liberally and supplied 
many home-made luxuries, not always the best nourish 
ment for a soldier s life ; but it was difficult to persuade 
the same men that all provisions must enter into a 
general commissariat, and be issued to all alike ; and that 
such stores must be accumulated, and neither expended 
lavishly nor sold at a bargain so soon as a surplus re 
mained unexpended. Such articles as cordage, iron, horse 
shoes, lumber, fire-wood, and every possible thing which 
might be required for field, garrison, or frontier service, 
were included in his inventory of essential supplies. 

In his personal expenditures of the most trivial item 
of public property, Washington kept a minute and exact 
account. Of the single article of powder, he once stated 
that his chief supply was furnished by the enemy, for, 
during one period, the armed vessels with which he 
patrolled the coast captured more powder than Congress 
had been able to furnish him in several months. 

Delay in securing such essential supplies increased the 
difficulty of bringing the troops themselves to a full rec 
ognition of their military needs and responsibilities, so 
that the grumbling query, " What s the use of copying 
the red-coats fuss and training?" still pervaded camp. 
Plain men from the country who had watched the martinet 
exactness of British drills in the city, where there was so 
much of ornament and " style," had no taste for like sub 
jection to control over their personal bearing and ward 
robe. A single order of General Howe to the Boston 
garrison illustrates what the Yankees termed the "red 
coats fuss." He issued an order, reprimanding soldiers 
" whose hair was not smooth but badly powdered ; who 


had no frills to their shirts ; whose leggings hung in a 
slovenly manner about their knees, and other soldierly 
neglects, which must be immediately remedied." This 
seemed to the American soldier more like some " nursing 
process ; " and while right, on general principles, was not 
the chief requirement for good fighting zeal . 

For many weeks it had been the chief concern of the 
American Coinmander-in-Chief how to make a fair show 
of military preparation, while all things were in such 
extreme confusion. Washington, as well as Howe, had 
his fixed ideas of military discipline, and he, also, issued 
orders respecting the habits, personal bearing, and neat 
ness of the men ; closing -on one occasion, thus emphati 
cally : " Cards and games of chance are prohibited. At 
this time of public distress, men may find enough to do 
in the service of their God and country, without aban 
doning themselves to vice and immorality." In anticipa 
tion of active service, and to rebuke the freedom with 
which individuals inclined to follow their own bent of 
purpose, he promulgated the following ringing caution : 

" It may not be amiss for the troops to know, that if 
any man in action shall presume to skulk, hide himself, 
or retreat from the enemy without the orders of his com 
manding officer, he will be instantly shot down as an 
example of cowardice ; cowards having too frequently 
disconcerted the best troops by their dastardly behavior." 

Amid all this stern preparation for the battle-field and 
its incidents, the most careful attention was given to the 
comfort and personal well-being of the privates in the 
ranks. While obedience was required of all, of whatever 
grade or rank, the cursing or other abuse of the soldier 
was considered an outrage upon his rights as a citizen, 
and these met his most scorching denunciation and pun 

A Soldier was in command of the Continental Army of 



THE Continental Army about Boston was largely 
composed of New England troops. This was inev 
itable until the action of Congress could be realized by 
reinforcements from other Colonies. The experience of 
nearly all veteran soldiers in the Cambridge camps had 
been gained by service in Canada or upon its borders. 
British garrisons at Halifax, Quebec, and Montreal, as well 
as at Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and St. John s, offered 
an opportunity for British aggression from the north. 
The seizure of the nearer posts, last named, temporarily 
checked such aggressions, but seemed to require adequate 
garrisons, and a watchful armed outlook across the border. 
There had been very early urged upon the Massachusetts 
Committee of Safety more extensive operations into Can 
ada, especially as the " Canadian Acts of Parliament " 
had become nearly as offensive to Canadians as other 
Acts which had alienated the American Colonies from 
respect for the common "Mother Country." The Cana 
dian Acts, however, had not been pressed to armed re 
sistance ; and differences of race, language, and religious 
forms were not conducive to those neighborly relations 
which would admit of combined action, even in emer 
gencies common to both sections. But the initiative of a 
general movement into Canada had been taken, and Con 
gress precipitated the first advance, before Washington 
became Commander-in-Chief. In order to appreciate the 



action of Washington when ho became more directly 
responsible for the success of these detachments from his 
army, for service in Canada, they must be noticed. 

The adventurous spirit of Arnold prompted the sugges 
tion that the conquest of Canada would bring disaster to 
Great Britain and fend off attacks upon the other Colonies. 
He once traded with its people, was familiar with Quebec, 
and after his adventure at Crown Point, in June, had 
written from that place to the Continental Congress that 
Gen. Sir Guy Carleton s force in Canada was less than six 
hundred men, promising to guarantee the conquest of 
Canada if he were granted the command of two thousand 
men for that purpose. On the second day of June, Ethan 
Allen, who had anticipated Arnold in the capture of 
Ticonderoga, had made a similar proposition to the Pro 
vincial Congress of New York. Both Allen and Seth 
Warner had visited Congress, and requested authority to 
raise new regiments. Authority was not given, but a 
recommendation was forwarded to the New York Provin 
cial Congress, that the r Green Mountain Boys " should 
be recognized as regular forces, and be granted the 
privilege of electing their own officers. 

It is of interest in this connection to notice the fact that 
when Arnold, in his first dash up Lake Champlain, found 
that Warner had anticipated his projected capture of Crown 
Point, as Alien had that of Ticonderoga, he was greatly 
offended, usurped command of that post and of a few 
vessels which he styled his " Navy," and upon finding that 
his assumption of authority was neither sanctioned by 
Massachusetts nor Connecticut, discharged his force and 
returned to Cambridge in anger. This same navy, how 
ever, chiefly constructed under his skilful and energetic 
direction, won several brilliant successes and certainly 
postponed movements from Canada southward, for many 


Eventually a formal expedition was authorized against 
Montreal, and Generals Schuyler and Montgomery were 
assigned to its command. This force, consisting of three 
thousand men, was ordered to rendezvous during the 
month of August at Ticonderoga, where Allen and Warner 
also joined it. 

During the same month a committee from Congress 
visited Washington at Cambridge, and persuaded him to 
send a second army to Canada, via the Kennebec river, 
to capture Quebec. Existing conditions seemed to warrant 
these demonstrations Avhich, under other circumstances, 
might have proved fatal to success at Boston. The theory 
upon which Washington concurred in the action of Con 
gress is worthy of notice, in estimating his character as 
a soldier. He understood that the suddenness of the 
resistance at Lexington, and the comparatively " drawn 
game " between the patriots and British regulars at Breed s 
Hill, would involve on the part of the British government 
much time and great outlay of money, in order to send to 
America an adequate force for aggressive action upon any 
extended scale ; and that the control of New York and the 
southern coast cities must be of vastly more importance 
than to harass the scattered settlements adjoining Canada. 
Inasmuch, however, as New York and New England 
seemed to stake the safety of their northern frontier upon 
operations northward, while Quebec and Montreal were 
almost destitute of regular troops, and the season of the 
year would prevent British reinforcements by sea, it 
might prove to be the best opportunity to test the sen 
timent of the Canadian people themselves as to their 
readiness to make common cause against the Crown. If 
reported professions could be realized, the north would be 
permanently protected. 

Taking into account that General Carleton would never 
anticipate an advance upon Quebec, but concentrate his 


small force at Montreal, with view to the ultimate re 
capture of St. John s, Crown Point, and Ticonderoga, and 
estimating, from advices received, that Carleton s forces 
numbered not to exceed eight hundred regulars and as 
many Provincials, he regarded the detail of three thou 
sand men as sufficient for the capture of Montreal. This 
estimate was a correct one. Its occupation was also 
deemed practicable and wise, because it was so near the 
mouth of Sorel River and Lake Champlain as to be readily 
supported, so long as the British army was not substan 
tially reenforced along the Atlantic coast. 

There was one additional consideration that practically 
decided the action of Washington. The mere capture of 
Montreal, on the north bank of the St. Lawrence river, 
and so easily approached by water from Quebec, would 
be of no permanent value so long as Quebec retained its 
place as the almost impregnable rendezvous of British 
troops and fleets. This view of the recommendation of 
Congress was deemed conclusive ; provided, that the 
movement against Quebec could be immediate, sudden, 
by surprise, and involve no siege. Under the assump 
tion that Congress had been rightly advised of the Brit 
ish forces in Canada, and of the sentiments of the 
Canadians themselves, the expedition had promise of 

There was a variance of religious form and religious 
faith which did not attract all the New England soldiers 
in behalf of Canadian independence. This was sufficiently 
observed by Washington s keen insight into human 
nature to call forth the following order, which placed 
the Canadian expeditions upon a very lofty basis. The 
extract is as follows : " As the Commander-in-Chief has 
been apprised of a design formed for the observance of 
that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the effigy 
of the Pope, he cannot help expressing his surprise that 


there should be officers and soldiers in this army so void 
of common-sense as not to see the impropriety of such 
a step at this juncture, at a time when we are soliciting, 
and have really obtained the friendship and alliance of 
Canada, whom we ought to consider as brethren em 
barked in the same cause the defence of the general 
liberty of America. . . . At such a juncture, and in 
such circumstances, to be insulting their religion is so 
monstrous as not to be suffered or excused ; indeed, 
instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty 
to address public thanks to those our brethren, as to 
them we are so much indebted for every late happy 
success over the common enemy in Canada." 

Washington, however, hinged his chief objection to 
these distant enterprises, which he habitually opposed 
throughout the war, upon the pressing demand for the 
immediate capture of Boston, and an immediate transfer 
of the Headquarters of the Army to New York, where, 
and where only, the Colonies could be brought into close 
relation for the organization and distribution of an army 
adequate to carry on war, generally, wherever along the 
Atlantic coast the British might land troops. 

As early as June, Congress had disclaimed any purpose 
to operate against Canada, and Bancroft says that the 
invasion was not determined upon until the Proclama 
tion of Martial Law by the British Governor, his denun 
ciation of the American borderers, and the incitement of 
savages to raids against Xew York and New England had 
made the invasion an act of self-defence. But there had 
been no such combination of hostile acts when these 
expeditions were planned, and Mr. Bancroft must have 
associated those events with the employment of Indian 
allies during the subsequent Burgoyne campaign of 1777. 

The details of the two contemporary expeditions to 
Canada are only sufficiently outlined to develop the rela- 


tions of the Commander-in-Chief to their prosecution, 
and to introduce to the reader certain officers who sub 
sequently came more directly under Washington s per 
sonal command. The substantial failure of each, except 
that it developed some of the best officers of the war, is 
accepted as history. But it is no less true thiat when 
Great Britain made Canada the base of Burgoyne s inva 
sion, his feeble support by the Canadians themselves 
proved a material factor in his ultimate disaster. He 
was practically starved to surrender for want of adequate 
support in men and provisions, from his only natural base 
of supply. 

It is sufficient, at present, to notice the departure of 
the two expeditions, that of Schuyler and Montgomery, 
assembling at Ticonderoga, August 20, and that of 
Arnold, consisting of eleven hundred men, without artil 
lery, which left Cambridge on the seventeenth day of 
September and landed at Gardiner, Me., on the twentieth. 
Several companies of riflemen from Pennsylvania and 
Virginia which had reported for duty were assigned to 
Arnold s command. Among the officers were Daniel 
Morgan and Christopher Greene. Aaron Burr, then but 
nineteen years of age, accompanied this expedition. 

As the summer of 1775 drew near its close, and the 
temporary excitement of Arnold s departure restored the 
routine of camp life and the passive watching of a be 
leaguered city, the large number of ff Six Months " men, 
whose term of enlistment was soon to expire, became list 
less and indifferent to duty. Washington, without offi 
cial rebuke of this growing negligence, forestalled its 
further development by redoubling his efforts to place the 
works about Boston in a complete condition of defence. 
None were exempt from the scope of his orders. 
Ploughed Hill and Cobble Hill were fortified, and the 
works at Lechniere Point were strengthened. (See map, 


"Boston and Vicinity.") Demonstrations were made 
daily in order to entice the garrison to sorties upon the 
investing lines. But the British troops made no hostile 
demonstrations, and in a very short time the American 
redoubts were sufficiently established to resist the attack 
of the entire British army. 

A Council of War was summoned to meet at Washing 
ton s headquarters to consider his proposition that an 
assault be made upon the city, and that it be burned, if 
that seemed to be a military necessity. Lee opposed the 
movement, as impossible of execution, in view of the 
character of the British troops whom the militia would be 
compelled to meet in close battle. The Council of War 
concurred in his motion to postpone the proposition of 
the Commander-in-Chief. Lee s want of confidence in 
the American troops, then for the first time officially 
stated, had its temporary influence ; but, ever after, 
through his entire career until its ignominious close, he 
opposed every opportunity for battle, on the same pre 
tence. The only exception was his encouragement to the 
resistance of Moultrie at Charleston, against the British 
fleet, during June, 1776, although he was not a partici 
pant in that battle. 

Meanwhile, the citizens of the sea-coast towns of New 
England began to be anxious as to their own safety. A 
British armed transport cannonaded Stonington, and other 
vessels threatened New London and Norwich. All of 
these towns implored Washington to send them troops. 
Governor Jonathan Trumbull, of Connecticut (the orig 
inal "Brother Jonathan"), whose extraordinary compre 
hension of the military as well as the civil issues of the 
times made him then, and ever, a reliable and constant 
friend of Washington, consulted the Commander-in-Chief 
as to these depredations, and acquiesced in his judgment 
as final. 


Washington wrote thus : " The most important oper 
ations of the campaign cannot be made to depend upon 
the piratical expeditions of two or three men-of-war 
privateers." This significant rejoinder illustrated the 
proposition to burn Boston, and was characteristic of 
Washington s policy respecting other local raids and en 
dangered cities. It is in harmony with the purpose of this 
narrative to emphasize this incident. Napoleon in his 
victorious campaign against Austria refused to occupy 
Vienna Avith his army, and counted the acquisition of 
towns and cities as demoralizing to troops, besides enforc 
ing detachments from his lighting force simply to hold 
dead property. Washington ignored the safety of Phila 
delphia, the Colonial capital, repeatedly, claiming that 
to hold his army compactly together, ready for the field, 
was the one chief essential to ultimate victory. Even 
the later invasions of Virginia and Connecticut, and the 
erratic excursions of Simcoe and other royalist leaders 
into Westchester County, New York, and the country 
about Philadelphia, did not bend his deliberate purpose 
to cast upon local communities a fair share of their own 
defence. In more than one instance he announced to the 
people that these local incursions only brought reproach 
upon the perpetrators, and embittered the Colonists more 
intensely against the invader. 



AS the siege of Boston advanced without decisive 
result, orders from England suddenly relieved 
Gage from command, and assigned General Sir William 
Howe as his successor. That officer promulgated a char 
acteristic order " assuming command over all the Atlantic 
Colonies from Nova Scotia to the West Indies." He 
made his advent thus public, and equally notorious. 
Offensive proclamations, bad in policy, fruitless for good, 
and involving the immediate crushing out of all sympathy 
from those who were still loyal to the Crown, were the 
types of his character, both as governor and soldier. He 
threatened with military execution any who might leave 
the city without his consent, and enjoined upon all citi 
zens, irrespective of personal opinion, to ft arm for the 
defence of Boston." 

This action imposed upon Washington the issue of a 
reciprocal order against " all who were suffered to stalk at 
large, doing all the mischief in their power." Hence, 
between the two orders, it happened that the royalists in 
the city had no opportunity to visit their friends and see 
to their own property outside the British lines, and the 
royalists of the country who sought to smuggle them 
selves between the lines, to communicate with those in 
the city, were compelled to remain outside the American 
lines, or be shot as "spies." 

Up to this time, the British officers and neutral citizens 



had not been interfered with in the prosecution of their 
business or social engagements ; and the operations of the 
siege had been mainly those of silencing British action 
and wearing out the garrison by constant surveillance 
and provocations to a fight. 

Supplies became more and more scarce within the 
British lines. Acting under the peremptory orders of 
General Howe, Admiral Graves resolved to make his small 
fleet more effective, and under rigid instructions to "burn 
all towns and cities that fitted out or sheltered privateers," 
Lieutenant Mowatt began his work of desolation by the 
destruction of Falmouth, now Portland, Me. 

In contrast with this proceeding was the action of 
Washington. When an American privateer, which had 
been sent by him to the St. Lawrence river, to cut off 
two brigantines which had left England with supplies for 
Quebec, exceeded instructions, and plundered St. John s 
Island, he promptly sent back the citizen-prisoners, 
restored their private effects, and denounced the action 
of the officer in command and his crew, as " a violation 
of the principles of civilized warfare." 

Crowded by these immediate demands upon his resources, 
and equally confident that there soon would be neither 
army, nor supplies, adequate for the emergency, Wash 
ington made an independent appeal to Congress, covering 
the entire ground of his complaint, and stating his abso 
lute requirements. He wanted money. He demanded a 
thoroughly organized commissariat, and a permanent 
artillery establishment. He asked for more adequate con 
trol of all troops, from whatever Colony they might come ; 
a longer term of enlistment ; enlargement of the Rules 
and Articles of War, and power to enforce his own will. 
He also demanded a separate organization of the navy, in 
place of scattered, irresponsible privateers, and that it be 
placed upon a sound footing, as to both men and vessels. 


Congress acted promptly upon these suggestions. On 
the fourth of October, a committee, consisting of Ben 
jamin Franklin, Thomas Lynch, and Benjamin Harrison, 
started for Washington s headquarters with three 
hundred thousand dollars in Continental money, and 
after a patient consideration of his views, advised the 
adoption of all his recommendations. 

A council of all the New England Governors was also 
called to meet this committee. As the result of the con 
ference a new organization of the army was determined 
upon, fixing the force to be employed about Boston at 
twenty-three thousand three hundred and seventy-two 
officers and men. Washington also submitted to this 
committee his plan for attacking Boston. It was 
approved ; and soon after, Congress authorized him to 
burn the city if he should deem that necessary in the 
prosecution of his designs against the British army. In 
all subsequent military operations the same principle of 
strategic action was controlling and absolute with him. 

On the thirteenth day of October, Congress authorized 
the building of two small cruisers, and on the thirtieth, 
two additional vessels, of small tonnage. A naval com 
mittee was also appointed, consisting of Silas Dean, John 
Langdon, Joseph Hewes, Richard Henry Lee, and John 
Adams. On the twenty-eighth of November, a naval 
code was adopted ; and on the thirteenth of December, the 
construction of thirteen frigates was authorized. Among 
the officers commissioned, were Nicholas Biddle as cap 
tain and John Paul Jones as lieutenant. Thus the 
American Navy was fully established. 1 

On the twenty-ninth day of November, Captain John 
Manly, who was the most prominent officer of this im 
provised navy, captured a British store-ship, containing 
a large mortar, several brass cannon, two thousand 

1 See Appendix, " American Navy." 


muskets, one hundred thousand flints, eleven mortar-beds, 
thirty thousand shot, and all necessary implements for 
artillery and intrenching service. 

As the year drew to its close, the British levelled all 
their advanced works on Charlestown Neck, and concen 
trated their right wing in a strong redoubt on Bunker 
Hill, while their left wing at Boston Neck was more 
thoroughly fortified against attack. 

Congress now intimated to AVashington that it might 
be well to attack the city upon the first favorable occa 
sion, before the arrival of reinforcements from Great 
Britain. The laconic reply of the Commander-in-Chief 
was, that he " must keep his powder for closer work than 
cannon distance." 

On the nineteenth of November, Henry Knox was com 
missioned as Colonel, vice Gridley, too old for active ser 
vice. Two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and twelve 
companies of artillery were authorized, and thus the 
American regular Artillery, as well as the navy, was put 
upon a substantial basis, with Knox as Chief of Artillery. 

The closing months of 1775 also developed the prog 
ress of the expeditions for the conquest of Canada. 
The reinforcements required for the actual rescue of the 
detached forces from destruction, increased the burdens 
of the Commander-in-Chief. This period of Washing 
ton s military responsibility cannot be rightly judged 
from the general opinion that Montgomery s nominal 
force of three thousand men represented an effective 
army of that strength : in fact, it was less than half that 

Montgomery reached Ticonderoga on the seventeenth 
of August. Schuyler, then negotiating a treaty with the 
Six Nations, at Albany, received a despatch from Wash 
ington, "Not a moment of time is to be lost," and at 
once joined Montgomery. They pushed for the capture^ 


of St. John s, under the spur of Washington s warning ; 
but on the sixth of September and again on the tenth, 
were compelled to suspend operations for want of artil 
lery, having at the time a force of but one thousand 
men present, instead of the three thousand promised. 
Schuyler s ill-health compelled him to return to Ticon- 
deroga ; but with infinite industry, system, and courage 
he was able to forward additional troops, increasing 
Montgomery s force to two thousand men. 

Ethan Allen, who had been succeeded in command 
of the " Green Mountain Boys " by Seth Warner, was 
across the line, endeavoring to recruit a regiment of 
Canadians. After partial success, regardless of order, he 
dashed forward, hoping to capture Montreal, as he had 
captured Ticonderoga. He was captured, and sent to 
England to be tried on the charge of treason. In a letter 
to Schuyler, Washington thus notices the event : 

" Colonel Allen s misfortune will, I hope, teach a lesson 
of prudence and subordination in others who may be too 
ambitious to outshine their general officer, and regardless 
of order and duty, rush into enterprises which have 
unfavorable effects on the public, and are destructive to 

On the third of November, after a siege of fifty days, 
St. John s was captured, with one hundred Canadians and 
nearly five hundred British regulars, more than half the 
force in Canada. John Andre was among the number. 
General Carleton, who attempted to cross the St. Law 
rence river, and come to the aid of St. John s, was thrust 
back by the " Green Mountain Boys " and a part of the 
2d New York Regiment. 

The treatment of prisoners illustrates the condition of 
this army. It was not a part of the Cambridge army, as 
was Arnold s, but the contributions promised largely by 
New York, and directly forwarded by Congress. One- 


regiment mutinied because Montgomery allowed the 
prisoners to retain their extra suit of clothing, instead of 
treating it as plunder. Schuyler s and Montgomery s 1 
Orderly Books and letters show that even officers refused 
to take clothing and food to suffering prisoners until per 
emptorily forced to do it. Washington was constantly 
advised of the existing conditions ; and when both 
Schuyler and Montgomery regarded the prosecution of 
their expeditions as hopeless, with such troops, and pro 
posed to resign, the Commander- in-Chief thus feelingly, 
almost tenderly, wrote : " God knows there is not a diffi 
culty you both complain of which I have not in an 
eminent degree experienced ; that I am not, every day, 
experiencing ; but we must bear up against them, and 
make the best of mankind as they are, since we cannot 
have them as we wish. Let me therefore conjure you 
both, to lay aside SUCA thoughts ; thoughts injurious to 
yourselves, and extremely so to your country, which calls 
aloud for gentlemen of your abilities." 

On the twelfth of November, Montgomery reached the 
open city of Montreal ; and the larger of the two Cana 
dian expeditions reached its proposed destination. But 
before the month of November closed, the American force 
" r wasted away," until only about eight hundred men re 
mained. Expiration of enlistments was at hand. Men 
refused to re-enlist. Even the " Green Mountain Boys " re 
turned home. This was not the total loss to Montgomery. 
Officers and men were all alike fractious, dictatorial, and 
self-willed. They claimed the right to do just as they 
pleased, and to obey such orders only as their judgment 
approved. General Carleton escaped from the city in 
disguise, and reached Quebec on the nineteenth. There 
was no possibility of following him ; and the work laid 
out for Montgomery, had been done, although at great 
cost and delay. 


Prof. Charles G. D. Eoberts, of King s College, Nova 
Scotia, in his "History of Canada" (1897), l uses this 
language : " General Carleton fled in disguise to Quebec, 
narrowly escaping capture, and there made ready for his 
last stand. In Quebec he weeded out all those citizens 
who sympathized with the rebels, expelling them from 
the city. With sixteen hundred men at his back, a 
small force indeed, but to be trusted, he awaited the 

Meanwhile Arnold, after unexampled sufferings and 
equal heroism, had reached Point Levi, opposite Quebec, 
on the ninth of November, only to find that the garrison 
had been strengthened, and that he was stranded, in the 
midst of a severe winter, upon an inhospitable, barren 
bluff. The strongest fortress in America, defended by 
two hundred heavy cannon, and the capture of which had 
been the inspiration of his adventurous campaign, was in 
full sight. Every condition which Washington had de 
clared to be essential to success had failed of realization. 
On the fifth of October Washington wrote to Schuyler : 
"If Carleton is not driven from St. John s, so as to be 
obliged to throw himself into Quebec, it must fall into 
our hands, as it is left without a regular soldier, as the 
captain of a brig from Quebec to Boston says. Many of 
the inhabitants are most favorably disposed to the Ameri 
can cause, and that there is there the largest stock of am 
munition ever collected in America." On the same day 
he also writes: "Arnold expected to reach Quebec in 
twenty days from September twenty-sixth, and that 
Montgomery must keep up such appearances as to fix 
Carleton, and prevent the force in Canada from being- 
turned on Arnold ; but if penetration into Canada be 
given up, Arnold must also know it, in time for retreat." 
And again: "This detachment (Arnold s) was to take 

1 Lamson, Wolffe & Co., Publishers, Boston. 


possession of Quebec, if possible ; but at any rate, to 
make a diversion in favor of Schuyler." 

But Arnold, on the sixteenth day of October, when, as 
he advised Washington, he expected to advance upon 
Quebec, was struggling with quagmires, swamps, fallen 
trees, rain and mud, snow and ice, about Deer river, 
and had not even reached Lake Megantic. Men waded 
in icy water to their armpits ; some froze to death : 
others deserted. Enos, short of provisions, as he 
claimed, marched three hundred men back to Cambridge. 
And Arnold, himself, twenty-five days too late, stood 
upon Point Levi, in the midst of a furious tempest of 
wind, rain, and sleet, only to realize the substantial 
failure of his vaunted expedition. Most of his muskets 
were ruined, and but five rounds of ammunition remained 
for the few men that were with him in this hour of starva 
tion and distress. Two vessel s-of- war lay at anchor in the 
stream. And yet, such was his indomitable energy, with 
thirty birch-bark canoes he crossed the river, gained a 
position on the Heights of Abraham, and sent to the for 
tress an unnoticed demand for surrender. Then, retiring 
to Point Aux Trembles, he sent a messenger to Mont 
gomery asking for artillery and two thousand men, for 
prosecution of a siege. Montgomery, leaving in com 
mand General Wooster, who arrived at Montreal late in 
November, started down the river with about three hun 
dred men and a few pieces of artillery, and clothing for 
Arnold s men ; landing at Point Aux Trembles about 
December first, making the total American force only one 
thousand men. On the sixth day of December, a demand 
for surrender having been again unanswered, the little 
army advanced to its fate. Four assaulting columns 
were organized. All failed, and Montgomery fell in a 
gallant but desperate attempt to storm the citadel itself. 
Morgan and four hundred and twenty-six men, nearly 


half of the entire command, were taken prisoners. Only 
the grand nerve of Montgomery brought the army to 
the assault in this forlorn-hope affair, for such it was. 
Three of Arnold s captains refused to serve under him 
any longer ; and mutiny, or the entire ruin of the army, 
was the alternative to the risks of ruin in battle. Arnold 
had a knee shattered by a bullet, and the remnants 
of the army fell back, harmless, to the garrison, and 
amid snow, ice, and proximate starvation, awaited future 

The treatment of the prisoners by General Carleton, 
and the burial, with honors of war, of his old comrade 
under Wolfe, the brave Montgomery, savors of the 
knightly chivalry of mediaeval times. When his officers 
protested at such treatment of rebels, his response, lofty 
in tone and magnanimous in action, was simply this : 
ff Since we have in vain tried to make them acknowledge 
us as brothers, let us at least send them away disposed 
to regard us as cousins." 

Almost at the same hour of the day when Carleton 
passed through Point Aux Trembles, on his escape 
to Quebec, Washington having heard of Montgomery s 
arrival at Montreal, was writing to Congress, as fol 
lows : " It is likely that General Carleton will, with what 
force he can collect after the surrender of the rest of 
Canada, throw himself into Quebec, and there make his 
last effort," 

With Arnold three miles from Quebec, intrenched as 
well as he was able to intrench, confining his operations 
to cutting off supplies to the city and keeping his five 
hundred survivors from starving or freezing, and Carle- 
ton preparing for reinforcements as soon as the ice might 
break up in the spring, the invasion of Canada for con 
quest came to a dead halt. The invasion of the American 
Colonies was to follow its final failure. 


There were heroes who bore part in those expeditions, 
and their experience was to crown many of Washington s 
later campaigns with the honors of victory. Meanwhile, 
about Boston, enlistments were rapidly expiring, to be 
again replaced with fresh material for the master s hand 
ling into army shape and use ; and the American Com- 
mander-in-Chief was beginning to illustrate his qualities 
as Soldier. 



ON the thirty-first day of December, 1775, Admiral 
Shuldhani reached Boston with reinforcements for 
its garrison, and relieved Admiral Graves in command 
of all British naval forces. The troops within the lines 
were held under the most rigid discipline, although 
amusements were provided to while away the idle hours 
of a passive defence. 

The winter was memorable for its mildness, so that the 
American troops, encamped about the city in tents, did 
not suffer ; but the in-gathering of recruits, to replace 
soldiers whose enlistments had just expired, involved the 
actual creation of a new army, directly in the face of a 
powerful, well-equipped, and watchful adversary. And 
yet, this very adversary must be driven from Boston 
before the American patriot army could move elsewhere, 
and engage actively against the combined armies and 
navy of the British crown. 

Indications of increasing hostilities on the part of 
royal governors of the South were not wanting to stim 
ulate the prosecution of the siege to its most speedy 
consummation ; and although unknown to Washington at 
the time, the city of Norfolk, Ya., had been bombarded 
on New Year s day by order of Lord Dunmore. 

Impressed by the urgency of the crisis, Washington, 
on the same day, was writing to Congress in plain terms, 
as follows, leaving the last word blank, lest it might mis- 



carry: "It is not, perhaps, in the power of history to 
furnish a case like ours ; to maintain a post within 
musket-shot of the enemy, within that distance of twenty, 
old British regiments without 

General Greene kept his small army well in hand, 
watchful of the minutest detail, inspecting daily each 
detachment, as well as all supplies of ammunition and 
food ; and on the fourth of January, writing from 
Prospect Plill (see map of Boston and Vicinity), thus 
reported his exact position to the Commander-in-Chicf : 
" The night after the old troops went off, I could not 
have mustered seven hundred men, notwithstanding the 
returns of the new enlisted men amounted to nineteen 
hundred and upwards. I am strong enough to defend 
myself against all the force in Boston. Our situation 
has been critical. Had the enemy been acquainted with 
our situation, I cannot pretend to say what might have 
been the consequences." 

The reader will appreciate at a glance the real opinion 
of the American Commander-in-Chief as to his own imme 
diate future, and the general scope of operations which he 
regarded as supremely important in behalf of American 
Independence. He understood thoroughly, that Lord 
Dartmouth originally opposed the military occupation of 
Boston in order to prevent a collision between British 
troops and the excited people, which he regarded as an 
inevitable result. That distinguished and far-sighted 
statesman, in order to prevent any overt acts of resist 
ance to the established representatives of the crown 
at business or social centres, wrote to Lord Howe as 
early as October 22, 1775, to "gain possession of 
some respectable port to the southward, from which to 
make sudden and unexpected attacks upon sea-coast 
towns during the winter/ But British pride had forced 
the increase of the army in Massachusetts Colony, and 


initiated a disastrous campaign. Lord Dartmouth never 
wavered in the opinion that New York was the only 
proper base of operations in dealing with the Colonies at 
large. Lord Howe himself had advised that New York, 
instead of Boston, should be made the rendezvous and 
headquarters of all British troops to be sent to America. 
Only the contumacy of General Gage had baffled the 
wiser plans of superior authority. 

During the first week of the new year, and while the 
American army was under the stress of reconstruction, 
Washington learned that General Clinton had been prom 
ised an independent command of a portion of the fresh 
troops which accompanied Admiral Shuldham to America, 
and would be detailed on some important detached service 
remote from New England waters. As a remarkable fact, 
not creditable to the king s advisers, the Island of New 
York, at that time, was practically without any regular 
military garrison ; but its aristocratic tory circles of in 
fluence could not conceive of a popular uprising against 
the supremacy of George III. within their favored sphere 
of luxury and independence. 

Washington appreciated the situation fully. He recog 
nized the defenceless condition of New York and its 
adaptation for the Headquarters of the Army of America. 
He was also thoroughly convinced that General Clinton s 
proposed expedition would either occupy New York, or 
make the attempt to do so. He acted without delay upon 
that conviction, although reserving to himself the respon 
sibility of first reducing Boston with the least possible 
delay. General Lee, then upon detached service in Con 
necticut, had written to him, urging, in his emphatic style, 
" the immediate occupation of New York ; the suppression 
or expulsion of certain tories of Long Island ; and that 
not to crush the serpents before their rattles were grown, 
would be ruinous." 


Washington was as prompt to reply ; and ordered Lee 
to " take such Connecticut volunteers as he could quickly 
assemble in his march, and put the city in the best possi 
ble posture of defence which the season and circumstances 
would admit of." 

Meanwhile, every immediate energy of the Commander- 
in-Chief was concentrated upon a direct attack of the 
British position. The business capacity of Colonel Knox 
had already imparted to the Ordnance Department char 
acter and efficiency. Under direction of Washington he 
visited Lake George, during December, 1775, and by the 
last of February hauled upon sleds, over the snow, more 
than fifty pieces of artillery to the Cambridge head 
quarters. This enabled him to make the armament of 
Lechmere Point very formidable ; and by the addition of 
several half-moon batteries between that point and Kox- 
bury, it became possible to concentrate upon the city of 
Boston the effective fire of nearly every heavy gun and 
mortar which the American army controlled. 

It had been the intention of Washington to march 
against Boston, across the ice, so soon as the Charles 
river should freeze sufficiently to bear the troops. Few 
of the soldiers had bayonets, but "the city must be capt 
ured, with or without bayonets," and his army released 
for service elsewhere. In one letter he used this very 
suggestive appeal : " Give me powder, or ice, and I will 
take Boston. Upon the occasion of "one single freeze 
and some pretty strong ice," he suddenly called a council 
of war, and proposed to seize the opportunity to cross at 
once, and either capture or burn the city. Officers of 
the New England troops who were more familiar with the 
suddenness with which the tides affect ice of moderate 
thickness, dissuaded him from his purpose ;but in writing 
to Joseph Reed, for some time after his Adjutant-General, 
he thus refers to the incident : " Behold, while we have 


been waiting the whole year for this favorable event, the 
enterprise was thought too hazardous. I did not think so, 
and I am sure yet, that the enterprise, if it had been 
undertaken with resolution, would have succeeded ; with 
out it, any would fail." " P.S. I am preparing to take 
post on Dorchester Heights, to try if the enemy will be 
so kind as to come out to us." This postscript is an 
illustration of Washington s quick perception of the 
strategic movement which Avould crown the siege with 
complete success. He added another caution : " What I 
have said respecting the determination in Council, and 
the possession of Dorchester, is spoken sub-rosa" 

The month of February drew near its close, when 
Washington, in the retirement of his headquarters, de 
cided no longer to postpone his attack upon the city and 
its defences. Two floating batteries of light draught 
and great strength were quickly constructed, and forty- 
five batteaux, like the modern dredge-scow, each capable 
of transporting eighty men, were assembled and placed 
under a special guard. In order to provide for every 
contingency of surmounting parapets, or improvising 
defences in streets, or otherwise, fascines, gabions, carts, 
bales of hay, intrenching-tools, two thousand bandages, 
and all other contingent supplies that might, under any 
possible conditions, be required, were also gathered and 
placed in charge of none but picked men. Gen. Thomas 
Mifflin, his Quartermaster-General, who had accompanied 
him from Philadelphia, shared his full confidence, and 
was unremitting by night and by day in hastening the 
work intrusted to his department. 

The inflexibility of purpose which marked Washing 
ton s career to its close, asserted its supremacy at this 
crucial hour of the Revolutionary struggle, when, for the 
first time, America was to challenge Britain to fight, and 
fight at once. It had begun to appear as if his submis- 


sion of a proposition to a council of officers implied some 
doubt of its feasibility, or some alternate contingency 
of failure. Washington discounted all failure, by ade 
quate forethought. Jomini, who admitted that Napoleon 
seemed never to provide for a retreat, very suggestively 
added : " When Napoleon was present, no one thought of 
such a provision." In like manner Washington had the 
confidence of his troops. 

It certainly is not anticipating the test of Washington, 
as Soldier, to state some characteristics which were pecul 
iarly his own. His most memorable and determining acts 
were performed when he w T as clothed with ample authority 
by Congress, or the emergency forced him to make his 
own will supreme. In the course of this narrative it 
will appear that Congress did at last formally emancipate 
him from the constraint of councils. Whenever he 
doubted, others doubted. Whenever he was persistent, 
he inspired the nerve and courage which realized results, 
even though in a modified form of execution. Partial 
disappointments or deferred realization did not shatter 
nor Aveaken his faith. Washington, the American Com- 
mander-in-Chief, was in such a mood on the first day of 
March, 1776. He had a plan, a secret plan, and kept his 
secret well, until the stroke was ready for delivery. 

And yet, the progress of the siege up to this date, and 
through two long winter months, had not been wholly 
spent in details for its certain success. Even after the 
first day of January, when he became acquainted with the 
proposed movement of General Clinton, he began to an 
ticipate such a movement as an indication of his own 
future action. A selection of guns for field service was 
carefully made ; batteries were organized and thoroughly 
drilled. Then, as ever after, during the war, artillerists 
were few in number, and the service was never popular. 
The hauling of heavy guns by hand, then with rare 


exceptions habitual, made the service very hard ; and 
accuracy of fire cost laborious practice, especially where 
powder was scarce, even for exigent service. Wagons 
were also provided. Medical supplies were collected and 
packed in portable chests. He also inquired into the 
nature of the New England roads when the frosts of spring 1 
first break the soil, and was informed that they would be 
almost impassable for loaded wagons and heavy artillery. 
During the same months the condition of Canada had 
become seriously critical, through the activity of General 
Carleton who expected reinforcements from England, and 
had already threatened the northern border. It seemed 
to Washington that Congress might even divert a part of 
his own army to support the army in Canada, upon the 
acquisition of Boston and the retirement of its British 
garrison. The ultimate destination of that garrison, in 

o o 

whole or in part, was full of uncertain relations to his 
own movements. The disposition of the large royalist 
element in Boston was also an object of care ; but loom 
ing above all other considerations was the supreme fact 
that the war now begun was one which embraced every 
Colony, every section ; and that the conflict with Great 
Britain was to be as broad and desperate as her power 
was great and pervasive. 

And yet, under so vast and varied responsibilities, 
he matured and withheld from his confiding troops the 
secret of his purpose to capture Boston suddenly and 
surely, until the day of its crowning fulfilment arrived. 

Just after sunset, on that New England spring evening, 
from Lechmere Point, past Cobble Hill, and through the 
long range of encircling batteries, clear to the Roxbury 
line on the right, every mortar and cannon which could 
take Boston in range opened fire upon the quiet city. 

But this was only a preliminary test of the location, 
range, and power of the adversary fire. The British guns 


responded with spirit, and equally well disclosed to com 
petent artillery experts distributed along the American 
lines, the weight, efficiency, and disposition of their bat 
teries so suddenly called into action. 

At sunrise of March 2d, the American army seemed 
not to have heard the cannonading of the previous 
night ; or, wondering at such a waste of precious 
powder, shot, and shell, rested from the real experience 
of handling heavy guns against the city and an invis 
ible foe, at night. And through the entire day the army 
rested. No parades were ordered. Only the formal calls 
of routine duty were sounded by fife and drum. No heads 
appeared above the ramparts. The tents were crowded 
with earnest men, filling powder-horns, casting or count 
ing bullets, cleaning their" firelocks," as they were called 
in the official drill manual of those times, and writing let 
ters to their friends at home. The quiet of that camp 
was intense, but faces were not gloomy in expression, 
neither was there any sign of special dread of the ap 
proaching conflict, which everybody felt to be immedi 
ately at hand. As officers went the rounds to see that 
silence was fully observed, it was enough to satisfy every 
curious inquirer as to its purpose, " It is Washington s 
order." And all this time, behind the American head 
quarters, Rufus Putnam, civil engineer, Knox, Chief of 
Artillery, Mifflin, Quartermaster-General, and General 
Thomas, were ceaselessly at work, studying the plans and 
taking their final instructions from the Commander-in- 

On the night of the third of March, soon after that 
evening s sunset-gun had closed the formal duties of the 
day, and seemingly by spontaneous will, all along the 
front, the bombardment was renewed with the same 
vigor, and was promptly responded to. But some of 
the British batteries had been differently disposed, as if 


the garrison either anticipated an attack upon their works 
on Bunker Hill, or a landing upon the Common, where 
both land and water batteries guarded approach. (See 

This second bombardment had been more effective in 
its range. One solid shot from the city reached Prospect 
Hill, but no appreciable damage had been done to the 
American works ; but some houses in Boston had been 
penetrated by shot, and in one barrack six soldiers had 
been wounded. Places of safety began to be hunted for. 
Artificial obstructions were interposed in some open spaces 
for protection from random shot and shell. No detail 
under orders, and no call for volunteers, to break up the 
investment of the city, had been made. No excited com 
mander, as on the seventeenth of June, 1775, tendered his 
services to lead British regulars against Cambridge, to 
seize and bring back for trial, as traitor, the arch-rebel 
of the defiant Colonists. Red uniforms were indeed re 
splendent in the sunlight ; but there was no irrepressible 
impulse to assail earthworks, which had been the work of 
months, and not of a single night, and behind which 
twenty thousand countrymen eagerly awaited battle. 
And on this day, as before, the quiet of the graveyard on 
Beacon Hill was no more solemn and pervasive than was 
the calm and patient resting of the same twenty thousand 
countrymen, waiting only for some call to duty from 
the lips of their silent Comniander-in-Chief. 

The fourth of March closed, and the night was mild 
and hazy. The moon was at its full. It was a good 
night for rest. Possibly such a whisper as this might 
have pervaded the Boston barracks, and lulled anxious 
royalists to slumber. " Surely the rebels cannot afford 
further waste of powder. They impoverish themselves. 
Sleep on ! Boston is safe ! " Not so ! As the sun went 
down, the whole American camp was alive with its teem- 


ing thousands ; not ostentatiously paraded upon parapet 
and bastion, but patiently awaiting the meaning of a 
mysterious hint, which kept even the inmates of hospital 
tents from sleeping, that "Washington had promised them 
Boston on the morrow." 

From "early candle-lighting" to the clear light of 
another- dawn, incessant thunder rolled over camp and 
city. The same quick flashes showed that fire ran all 
along the line ; and still, the occupants of camp and city, 
standing by their guns, or sheltered from their fire, 
dragged through the night, impatiently waiting for day 
light to test the night s experience, as daylight had done 

At earliest break of day it was announced to General 
Howe that " two strong rebel redoubts capped Dorches 
ter Heights." The news spread quickly, after the excite 
ments of the night. There was no more easy slumber in 
the royal bed-chamber of British repose, nor in the lux 
urious apartments of the favored subjects of George III., 
in the city of Boston, on that fifth day of March, 177(5. 

" If the Americans retain possession of the Heights," 
said Admiral Shuldham, " I cannot keep a vessel in the 

General Howe advised Lord Dartmouth that " it must 
have been the employment of at least twelve thousand 

Another British officer said, " These works were raised 
with an expedition equal to that of the genii belonging to 
Aladdin s lamp." 

Lord Howe said, further, " The rebels have done more 
in one night than my whole army would have done in a 

"Perhaps," said Heath, "there never was as much done 
in so short a space." 

The reader of this narrative, whether citizen or soldier, 


cannot fail to be interested in some account of the extreme 
simplicity with which the construction of these works 
had been carried on. The earth, at that time, was 
frozen to the depth of eighteen inches, rendering the use 
of pick-axe and shovel, and all intrenching-tools, of 
little use ; besides, the noise of their handling would 
have betrayed the workmen. The secret of Washington s 
silent preparatory work, and the accumulation of such 
heaps of material behind his headquarters, is revealed. 
Hoop-poles, for hurdles and fascines, branches cut from 
apple orchards, and along brooks, for abatis, even as far 
out as the present suburban towns of Brookline, Milton, 
Mattapan, and Hyde Park, had been accumulated in great 
quantities. Large bales of compressed hay, which were 
proof against any ordinary cannon-ball, had been pro 
cured also, so that the merely heaping up and arranging 
these under the personal direction of Engineer Putnam, 
according to a plan fully digested in advance, was but 
easy work for a class of country soldiers peculiarly 
"handy" with all such materials. Then, on the tops of 
the improvised redoubts, were barrels filled with stones. 
These, at the proper time, were to be rolled down the 
hill, to disconcert the formal array of steadily advancing 
British regulars. 

The management of the whole affair was hardly less 
simple. Eight hundred soldiers, not needed during the 
cannonading, quietly marched out of camp the night 
before, some between Boston and Dorchester Heights, 
and others at the east end of the peninsula, opposite 
Castle Island ; w^hile still others, with tools, and a sup 
porting party of twelve hundred soldiers under General 
Thomas, followed the advance. Three hundred carts, 
loaded with suitable material, followed. 

All this movement was liable to be discovered in spite 
of the incessant roar of heavy ordnance over the works 


of besiegers and besieged. The flash of heated guns or 
bursting bombs might light up the trail of this slowly 
crawling expedition, and vast interests were staked upon 
the daring venture. But, along the most exposed parts 
of the way, the bales of pressed hay had been placed as a 
protecting screen ; and behind its sufficient cover, the 
carts passed to and fro in safety. Even the moon itself 
only deepened the shadow of this artificial protector, 
while in position to light, as by day, the steps of the 
advancing patriots. And there was, also, a brisk north 
wind which bore away from the city, southward, all 
sounds which were not already lost in the hurricane of 
war that hushed all but those of battle. 

But the American Commander-in-Chief had fully antic 
ipated the possible incident of a premature discovery 
of his design against Dorchester. The success of his 
plans for the night did not wholly depend upon the 
undisturbed occupation and fortification of Dorchester 
Heights. That silent procession of two thousand country 
men was not, as at Bunker Hill, a sort of " forlorn- 
hope " affair. It was not hurried, nor was it costly of 
strength or patience. Reliefs came and went ; and the 
system, order, and progress that marked each hour could 
not have been better realized by day. Instructions had 
been explicit ; and these were executed with coolness and 
precision, as a simple matter of fact, to be done as 
ordered by Washington. 

The silent preparations of the preceding day had pro 
vided for the main body of the American army other 
employment than a listless watch of a vigorous bombard 
ment and its pyrotechnic illumination of the skies. At 
battery "Number Two," the floating batteries and bat- 
teaux were fully manned, for crossing to Boston. Greene 
and Sullivan, with four thousand thoroughly rested 
troops, and these carefully picked men, were ready to 


move on the instant, if the garrison attempted to inter 
fere with Washington s original purpose. 

An eminent historian thus characterized the event : " One 
unexpended combination, concerted with faultless ability, 
and suddenly executed, had, in a few hours, made General 
Howe s position at Boston untenable." 

As soon as General Howe appreciated the changed 
conditions of his relations to the besieging rebels, he 
despatched Earl Percy, who had met rebels twice before, 
with twenty-four hundred troops to dislodge the enemy 
from Dorchester Heights. The command moved promptly, 
by boats, to Castle Island, for the purpose of making a 
night attack. Sharp-shooting, by the American " Minute 
Men," in broad daylight, behind breastworks, was not 
courted by Percy on this occasion, nor desired by General 
Howe. During the afternoon a storm arose from the 
south, which increased to a gale, followed at night by 
torrents of rain. Some boats were cast ashore, and the 
entire expedition was abandoned. 

By the tenth of March, the Americans had fortified 
Nook s Hill ; and this drove the British from Boston 
Neck. During that single night, eight hundred shot and 
shell were thrown into the city from the American lines. 

On the seventeenth of March, the British forces, num 
bering, with the seamen of the fleet, not quite eleven 
thousand men, embarked in one hundred and twenty 
transports for Halifax. The conditions of this embarka 
tion without hindrance from the American army had been 
settled by an agreement on the part of the British author 
ities that the city should be left intact from fire, or other 
injury, and that the property of royalists, of whom nearly 
fifteen hundred accompanied the troops, should be also 
safe from violation by the incoming garrison. As the 
last boats left, General Ward occupied the city with a 
garrison of five thousand troops. 

[From Stuart s painting.] 


Of two hundred and lifty cannon left behind, nearly 
one-half were serviceable. Other valuable stores, and the 
capture of several store-vessels which entered the harbor 
without knowledge of the departure of the British troops, 
largely swelled the contributions to the American material 
of war. 

The siege of Boston canie to an end. New England 
was free from the presence of British garrisons. The 
mission of Washington to Massachusetts Colony, as Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Continental Army of America, had 
fulfilled its purpose. 



~T~YTITHIN twenty-four hours after General Howe 
V V embarked his army, the American Commander -in- 
( hief developed his matured plan to anticipate any design 
of Genera] Clinton to occupy New York City. The great 
number of fugitive royalists who accompanied Howe s 
fleet and encumbered even the decks of battleships with 
their personal effects, and the necessity of consulting the 
wishes of very influential families among their number, 
were substantial reasons for the selection of Halifax as 
the destination of the ships. But of still greater impor 
tance was the reorganization of his army, and a new sup 
ply of munitions of war, in place of those which had been 
expended, or abandoned on account of the siege of Boston. 
Time was also required for the preparation and equipment 
of any new expedition, whether in support of Carleton in 
Canada, or to move southward. 

Washington did not even enter Boston until he started 
General Heath with five regiments and part of the artil 
lery for New York. On the twentieth the Commander- 
in-Chief entered the city. 

The British fleet was weatherbound in Nantasket Roads 
for ten days ; but on the twenty-seventh clay of March, 
when it finally went to sea, the entire American army, 
with the exception of the Boston garrison, was placed 
under orders to follow the advance division. General 
Sullivan marched the same day upon which he received 



orders ; another division marched April 3d, and on the 
4th General Spencer left with the last brigade, Wash 
ington leaving the same night. 

In order to anticipate any possible delay of the troops 
in reaching their destination, he had already requested 
Governor Trumbull, of Connecticut, to reenforce the New 
York garrison with two thousand men from Western Con 
necticut ; and he also instructed the commanding officer in 
that city to apply to the Provincial Convention, or to the 
Committee of Safety of New Jersey, to furnish a thou 
sand men for the same purpose. In advising Congress of 
this additional expense, incurred through his own fore 
thought, but without authority of Congress, he wrote 
thus discreetly : " Past experience and the lines in Boston 
and on Boston Neck point out the propriety and suggest 
the necessity of keeping our enemies from gaining posses 
sion and making a lodgment." 

The Continental Army had entered upon its first active 
campaign ; but before Washington left Cambridge he 
arranged for the assembling of transports at Norwich, 
Conn., thereby to save the long coastwise march to 
New York; and digested a careful itinerary of daily 
marches, by which the different divisions would not 
crowd one upon another. Quartermaster-General Mif- 
flin was intrusted with the duty of preparing barracks, 
quarters, and forage for the use of the troops on their 
arrival, and all the governors of New England were 
conferred with as to the contingencies of British raids 
upon exposed sea-coast towns, after removal of the army 
from Boston. A careful system of keeping the Pay 
Accounts of officers was also devised, and this, with the 
examination of an alleged complicity of officers with the 
purchase of army supplies, added to the preliminary 
work of getting his army ready for the best of ser 
vice in garrison or the field. Two companies of artil- 


lery, with shot and shell, were detailed to report to 
General Thomas, who had been ordered by Congress to 
Canada, vice General Lee ordered southward. 

Washington s journey to New York was via Provi 
dence, Norwich, and New London, in order to inspect 
and hasten the departure of the troops. 

A reference to the situation in that city is necessary to 
an appreciation of the development which ensued immedi 
ately upon the arrival of the Commander-in-Chief. 

William Try on, who subsequently invaded Connecticut 
twice, and left his devastating impress upon Danbury, 
Ridgefield, New Haven, Fairfield, Norwalk, and Green 
Farms, was the royal Governor of New York. It is in 
teresting to recall the antecedents of this governor. He 

o o 

had been Governor of North Carolina once, and attempted 
a part similar to that so foolishly played by Governor 
Gage at Lexington and Concord. Until this day, the 
people of North Carolina w r ill cite the " Battle of Ala- 
mance," which was a pretty sharp tight between Tryon s 
forces and the yeomanry of the " Old North State," on 
the sixteenth day of May, 1771, as the first blood shed in 
resistance to the usurpations of the royal prerogative. 
It was the same William Tryon, in person, temperament, 
and methods, who governed New York City in 1776, and 
Washington knew him thoroughly. The royalists and 
patriots of New York City, in the absence of a control 
ling force of either British or Continental troops, com 
mingled daily. A few British men-of-war really controlled 
its waters ; but the city was practically at rest. There 
prevailed a general understanding that each party should 
retain its own views ; that the officers of the Crown should 
keep within the technical line of their official duty, and 
that the citizens would not interfere. Congress had no 
troops to spare, and there was quite a general suspension of 
arming, except to supply the regiments already in the field. 


An extraordinary coincidence of the arrival of Gen 
eral Clinton from Halifax, with a small force, and the 
arrival, on the same day, of General Lee, from Connec 
ticut, with about fifteen hundred volunteers, brought this 
condition of armed neutrality to an end. Clinton had 
positive orders to " destroy all towns that refused submis 
sion." When Clinton cast anchor at Sandy Hook and 
communicated with Governor Try on, and learned the facts, 
he judiciously made the official courtesy due to the gov 
ernor his plausible excuse for entering the harbor at all, 
" being ordered southward." Lee, doubtful of Clinton s 
real purpose, fortified Brooklyn Heights back of Govern 
or s Island, and began also to fortify the city, at the 
south end of the island, still called " The Battery." 
Clinton followed his orders, sailed southward, visited 
Lord Dunniore in Chesapeake Bay, joined Earl Cornwal- 
lis at Wilmington, N.C., in May, on the arrival of that 
officer from Ireland, and took part with him in the 
operations against Fort Sullivan (afterwards Fort Moul- 
trie) near Charleston, during the succeeding summer. 

Lee, ever arrogating to himself supreme command, 
whenever detached, placed the Connecticut volunteers 
whom he accompanied to New York upon a Continental 
basis of service. In this he deliberately exceeded his 
authority and came into direct collision with Congress, 
which had ordered one of the regiments to be disbanded ; 
and offended the New York patriots, whom he characterized 
as the " accursed Provincial Congress of New York." His 
action received the official disapproval of Washington ; 
and the visit of a Committee of Congress accommodated the 
formal occupation by the Colonial troops to the judgment 
of all well-disposed citizens. In no respect was the 
episode of Lee s temporary command a reflection upon 
the patriotism of the citizens. He was ordered to the 
south ; and in the attack upon Fort Sullivan and the 


preparation of Charleston for defence he gave much good 
advice, but had to be repressed and controlled all the 
time by President liutledge, who was as resolute as 
Washington himself in the discharge of public duty once 
confided to his trust. The attitude of South Carolina, at 
this time, deserves special mention, and it has hardly 
received sufficient recognition in the development of the 
United States. Without waiting for the united action of 
the Colonies this State declared its own independence 
as a sovereign republic. John liutledge Avas elected as 
President, with Henry Laurens as Yice-President, and 
William H. Drayton as Chief Justice. An army and 
navy were authorized ; a Privy Council and Assembly 
were also elected ; the issue of six hundred thousand dol 
lars of paper money was authorized, as well as the issue 
of coin. It was the first republic in the New World to 
perfect the organization of an independent State. 

When Lee was ordered southward, General Thomas had 
been ordered to Canada ; and the first act of Washington, 
after his arrival at New York, was the enforced deple 
tion of his command by the detail of four battalions as a 
reinforcement to the army in Canada. These he sent by 
water to Albany, "to ease the men of fatigue." He also 
sent five hundred barrels of provisions to Schuyler s com 
mand on the twenty-second. 

The activity of the army about headquarters aroused 
the royalist element and prompt action became necessary. 
Washington addressed a letter to the New York Commit 
tee of Safety, directing that further correspondence with 
the enemy must cease, closing as follows : " We must 
consider ourselves in a state of war, or peace, with Great 
Britain." He enforced these views with emphasis. 

Late at night, on the twenty-fifth, an order was received 
from Congress directing him to send six additional battal 
ions to Canada, requesting also an immediate report as 


to "whether still additional regiments could be spared for 
that purpose." General Sullivan accompanied this divi 
sion ; and with him were such men as Stark, Reed, AVayne, 
and Irvine. In reply to Congress, Washington stated 
that "by this division of forces there was danger that 
neither army, that sent to Canada and that kept at New 
York, would be sufficient, because Great Britain would 
both attempt to relieve Canada and capture New York, 
both being of the greatest importance to them, if they 
have the men." 

On the twenty-eighth day of April the whole army in 
New York amounted to ten thousand two hundred and 
thirty-five men, of whom eight thousand three hundred 
and three were present and fit for duty. Washington s 
Orderly Book, of this period, rebukes certain disorderly 
conduct of the soldiers in these memorable words : " Men 
are not to carve out remedies for themselves. If they are 
injured in any respect, there are legal ways to obtain 
relief, and just complaints will always be attended to and 

At this time, Rhode Island called for protection of her 
threatened ports, and two regiments of her militia were 
taken into Continental Pay. Washington was also advised 
that Great Britain had contracted with various European 
States for military contingents ; that the sentiment in 
Canada had changed to antipathy, and that continual dis 
aster attended all operations in that department. On the 
twenty-fourth he wrote to Schuyler : " We expect a very 
bloody summer at Canada and New York ; as it is there, 
I presume, that the great efforts of the enemy will be 
aimed ; and I am. very sorry to say that we are not, in 
men and arms, prepared for it." 

General Putnam was placed in command at New York, 
and General Greene took charge of the defences on 
Brooklyn Heights and of their completion. On the first 


day of June Congress resolved that six thousand addi 
tional troops should be employed from Massachusetts, 
New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York, to reenforce 
the army in Canada, and that two thousand Indians should 
be hired for this same field of service. To this proposi 
tion General Schuyler keenly replied : " If this number, 
two thousand, can be prevented from joining 1 the enemy, 
it is more than can be expected." 

As early as the fifteenth of February Congress had 
appointed Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles 
Carroll, as Commissioners to visit Canada and learn both 
the exact condition of the army and the temper of the 
people Rev. John Carroll, afterwards Archbishop of 
Maryland, accompanied them, and reported that r? negli 
gence, mismanagement, and a combination of unlucky 
incidents had produced a disorder that it was too late to 
remedy." Ill-health compelled the immediate return of 
Franklin, but the other Commissioners remained until the 
evacuation of Canada. The scourge of small-pox, to 
which General Thomas became a victim, and other dis 
eases, together with the casualties of the service, had cost 
more than five thousand lives within two months, and the 
constant change of commanders, ordered by Congress, 
hastened the Canadian campaign to a crisis. Scattered 
all the way from Albany to Montreal there could have 
been found companies of the regiments which Congress 
had started for Canada, and which Washington and the 
country could so poorly spare at such an eventful and 
threatening period. General Sullivan had been succeeded 
by General Gates, but with no better results. Sullivan 
had under-estimated the British forces, and when apprised 
of the facts, of which the American Commander-in-Chief 
had not been advised in time, he wrote : " I now only 
think of a glorious death, or a victory obtained against 
superior numbers." The following letter of Washington 


addressed to Congress, enclosing letters intimating the 

desire of General Sullivan to have larger command, indi 

cates Washington s judgment of the situation, and is in 
harmony with his habitual discernment of men and the 
times throughout the war. He says: "He (Sullivan) is 
active, spirited, and zealously attached to our cause. He 
has his wants and his foibles. The latter are manifested 
in his little tincture of vanity which now and then leads 
him into embarrassments. His wants are common to us 
all. He wants experience, to move on a large scale ; for 
the limited and contracted knowledge which anv of us 

O f 

have in military matters, stands in very little stead, and 
is quickly overbalanced by sound judgment and some 
acquaintance with men and books, especially when accom 
panied by an enterprising genius, which I must do Gen 
eral Sullivan the justice to say, I think he possesses. 
Congress will therefore determine upon the propriety of 
continuing him in Canada, or sending another, as they 
shall see fit." 

Already the St. Lawrence river was open to naviga 
tion. On the first of June, General Riedesel arrived with 
troops from Brunswick, and General Burgoyne with 
troops from Ireland, swelling the command of General 
Carleton to an aggregate of nine thousand nine hundred 
and eighty-four effective men ; and British preparations 
were at once made to take the offensive, and expel the 
American force from Canada. Before the last of June 
the " invasion of Canada " came to an end, and the rem 
nants of the army, which had numbered more than ten 
thousand men, returned, worn out, dispirited, and 

Washington had been stripped of troops and good offi 
cers at a most critical period, against his remonstrance ; 
and Congress accounted for the disaster by this brief 
record : " Undertaken too late in the fall ; enlistments 


too short ; the haste which forced immature expeditions 
for fear there would be no men to undertake them, and 
the small-pox. 

Gradually the principal officers and many of the return 
ing troops joined the army at New York. The occupation 
of New York, the fortification and defence of Brooklyn 
Heights, the tardy withdrawal of the army to Harlem 
Heights, with a constant and stubborn resistance to the 
advancing British army and its menacing ships-of-war, 
have always been treated as of questionable policy by 
writers who have not weighed each of those incidents as 
did Washington, by their effect upon the Continental 
army, as a whole, and in the light of a distinctly framed 
plan for the conduct of the war. This plan was har 
monious and persistently maintained from his assumption 
of command until the surrender of Cornwallis at York- 
town, in 1781. 

Operations in Massachusetts, and elsewhere, south as 
well as north, from the first, proved that the heat of 
patriotic resistance must be maintained and developed by 
action ; that, as at Bunker Hill and before Boston, passive 
armies lose confidence, while active duty, even under 
high pressure, nerves to bolder courage and more pro 
nounced vigor. 

The correspondence of Washington and his Reports, as 
well as letters to confidential friends which have been 
carefully considered in forming an estimate of his career 
as a Soldier, evolve propositions that bear upon the 
operations about New York. The prime factor in the 
Colonial resistance was, to fix the belief irrevocably in 
the popular mind, in the very heart of the Colonists, that 
America could, and would, resist Great Britain, with 
confidence in success. The inevitable first step was to 
challenge her mastery of the only base from which she 
could conduct a successful war. To have declined this 


assertion of Colonial right, or to have wavered as to its 
enforcement, would have been a practical admission of 
weakness and the loss of all prestige thus far attained. 

It was well known to Washington that the British 
Government was so related to Continental rivals that 
about forty thousand troops would be the extreme limit 
of her contributions to subdue America. It will appear 
from official tables, appended to this narrative, that, 
during the entire war, the British force of every kind, 
throughout America, exceeded this number slightly in 

o J 

only one year ; and that AVashington s plans, from time 
to time submitted to Congress, were based upon requisi 
tions fully competent to meet the largest possible force 
which could be placed in the field by Great Britain. 

It was further evident that resistance of the first 
attempt of the British to land, and the reduction of their 
numbers and supplies, by constant, persistent, and con 
fident battle, would not only dispirit that army, but 
equally arouse the spirit of the American army, assure 
its discipline, and stimulate both Congress and the people 
to furnish adequate men and means to prosecute the war 
to success. Prolonged face to face hostilities in and 
about New York, therefore, indicated not only Wash 
ington s faith in success, but prolonged the restriction 
of British operations to a very limited field. 

The Declaration of American Independence, on the 
Fourth Day of July, 1776, was an emphatic act that 
enlarged his faith and inspired resistance, upon the plans 
so carefully matured before that event. And, even if 
there be taken into account the peculiar circumstances 
which facilitated the eventual retreat from Brooklyn 
Heights, it is no less true that the Battle of Long Island, 
the resistance at Pell s Point, Harlem Heights, White 
Plains, and about Fort Washington, were characterized 
by a persistency of purpose and a stubbornness of hand- 


to-hand fighting, which kept his main army practically 
intact, and enabled him to terminate the campaign of 
1776 with a master stroke that astounded the world, and 
challenged the admiration of the best soldiers of that 



IN order rightly to measure the American War for 
Independence by fixed standards, it is both interest 
ing and instructive to notice the systematic method 
adopted by Great Britain to suppress revolution and 
restore her supremacy over the revolting Colonies. The 
recovery of Boston was no longer to be seriously con 
sidered ; but New England, as a strong and populous 
centre of disaffection, must still be so restricted through 
her coast exposure as to prevent her proportionate con 
tribution to the Continental army at New York. If 
threatened from the north, New York also would be 
compelled to retain a large force of fully equipped militia 
for frontier defence. The occupation of Newport, R.I., 
which was only one day s forced march from Boston, 
together with the patrol of Long Island Sound by ships- 
of-war, would therefore be positive factors in both limit 
ing a draft and the transportation of troops from Massa 
chusetts. If to this were added the control of the Hudson 
River, by a competent fleet, the whole of New England 
would be cut oft from actively supporting the forces to 
be raised in the Middle Colonies. 

The fiery spirit and patriotic fervor of Virginia, as well 
as the lusty vigor of North Carolina and other Southern 
patriots, must also be subjected to a military surveillance 
and pressure from the sea, and thus, equally with New 
England, be deprived of a free and full contribution of 
its proper quota to the American army. 



The three sections named, using Xew York as the base 
of all British demonstrations in force, represented so 
many radiating belts, or zones, of military operation ; 
and to secure ultimate British success, each of these zones 
must be so occupied in its own defence that a force from 
New York could be thrown with overwhelming effect upon 
each, in turn, and thus render it practically impossible- 
for Washington to concentrate an effective army of re 
sistance to each assailing column. To the southward, 
the waters of Delaware and Chesapeake bays, if once occu 
pied by a sufficient fleet, would sever the lower Colonies 
from the American centre of service, as effectively as 
those of Long Island and the Hudson River Avould isolate 
New England. This was a sound military policy, and 
had been fully adopted so soon as Lord Howe received 
reinforcements and recovered breath after his severe 
punishment at Boston. 

The adoption of New York as the base of all British 
supply, as well as service, not only had its central and 
dominating site for the rendezvous, equipment, and 
despatch of troops, but through its auxiliary naval sta 
tions at Halifax and the West Indies, afforded opportu 
nities for expeditions where large land forces were not 
required, and still keep such threatened localities under 
constant terror of assault. 

These considerations will have their better apprecia 
tion as the progress of the narrative unfolds successive 

Sooner or later, in order to achieve absolute independ 
ence, and vanquish Great Britain in the fight, the Ameri 
can army must so neutralize the domination of New York, 
that its occupation by either army ivould cease to be the 
determining factor in the final result of the luar. 

The prestige of Great Britain was overshadowing ; 
but could its arm reach the range of its shadow ? Her 


fleets were many and mighty, but so were those of her 
jealous foes across the British Channel. Her armies in 
America must be adequate for operations in each of the 
zones mentioned, and be constantly supplied with muni 
tions of war and every other accessory of successful field 
service. And, on the other hand, the American army, 
almost wholly dependent upon land transportation and 
hard marching, must have a correspondingly larger force, 
or fail to concentrate and fight upon equal terms with its 

The British Government having adopted a sound mili 
tary policy, so soon as the object lessons of Lexington, 
Bunker Hill, and their expulsion from Boston unveiled 
their dull vision, did not fail to realize the necessity for 
an army strong enough to meet the full requirements of 
that policy. Forty regiments were assigned to the 
American service. 1 But the militia of New England had 
already driven twenty battalions (half the number) 
from its coast. AYashington was no careless observer of 
European conditions, nor of the straitened nature of 
the British army organization, however superior to rivals 
on the sea. His deliberate conviction, ever a rallying 
force to his faith in deepest peril, that Britain could 
never spare more than one more army as large as the 
garrison of Boston, was the result of almost literal in 
sight of the practical resources at her command. Hence, 
that Government contracted with petty European princi 
palities for seventeen thousand men, for immediate deliv 
ery. These men were impressed and paid wages by their 
own local princes who speculated on the greater sums to 
be paid them, per capita, by Great Britain. The former 
estimate of General Gage, at twenty thousand men, 
and his significant hint as to the need of more than that 
force, was no longer ridiculed ; but forty thousand was 

1 See Appendix for regiments designated. 


decided to be the minimum number required for the im 
mediate prosecution of the war. Taking into account 
the foreign troops, the British ministry estimated as 
available for the American service a total, on paper, of 
fifty-five thousand men. To this was to be added, upon 
their hopeful estimate, four thousand Canadians, Indians, 
and royalists. Allowing for every possible shrinkage, on 
account of weakened regiments and other contingencies, 
the effective force was officially placed at forty thousand 

Two facts are significant in connection with this spe 
cious estimate of the British army. If the drain of this 
forcible conscription upon the industry of Hesse-Cassel 
and Hanau had been applied to England and Wales, at 
that date, it would have raised an army of four hundred 
thousand men ; and yet, Britain did not venture to draw 
from her own subjects, at home, for the defence of her 
own Crown. 

Washington rightly conceived that the whole scheme 
would divide the sentiment of the British people, and 
that the success even of these mercenary troops, against 
their own blood in America, would prove no source of 
pride or congratulation. It was his intense love of 
English liberty, exhibited in its history, that undergirded 
his soul with sustaining faith in American liberty ; and 
he read the hearts of the English people aright. 

He did not wait long for its echo. The Duke of Rich 
mond used this emphatic and prophetic utterance : " An 
army of foreigners is now to be introduced into the 
British dominion ; not to protect them from invasion, 
not to deliver them from the ravages of a hostile army, 
but to assist one-half of the inhabitants in massacring 
the other. Unprovided with a sufficient number of 
troops for the cruel purpose ; or, unable to prevail upon 
the natives of the country [England] to lend their hands 


to such a sanguinary business, Ministers have applied to 
those foreign princes who trade in human blood, and 
have hired mercenaries for the work of destruction." 
His closing sentence foreshadowed the alliance of Amer 
ica with Louis XVI., of France. It reads thus: "The 
Colonies themselves, after our example, will apply to 
strangers for assistance." 

This British army was designed for four distinct, and 
as nearly as possible, concurrent, operations : one through 
Canada, down the Hudson River to Albany and New York, 
with divergent pressure upon New England and central 
New York ; one to occupy Newport, R.I. ; the third to 
control New York City and its related territory in New 
Jersey ; and the fourth against representative centres 
at the South. 

Reference has been made to the anxiety expressed by 
Washington as early as February, 1776, lest the siege of 
Boston might be protracted until Britain could invade the 
other colonies, particularly New York, with an over 
whelming retentive force. As a fact, only surmised 
and not known by him for weeks, Sir Peter Parker and 
Earl Cornwallis were ready to start from Cork, Ireland, 
by the twentieth of January ; but did not sail until the 
thirteenth of February, and then the transports and ships 
were so buffeted by storms, and driven back for refitting, 
as not to reach Wilmington, N.C., until the third day of 
May. Here, as before indicated, he was joined by Gen 
eral Clinton, and both had the suggestive lesson of 
American courage in their repulse by the brave Moultrie, 
at Charleston, on the twenty-eighth of June. 

And now we are to consider Washington s reception of 
the most formidable of these expeditions. 

General Howe sailed from Halifax on the tenth of June 
with one hundred and twenty square-rigged vessels be 
sides smaller craft ; and on the fifth day of July the entire 


force, amounting to nine thousand two hundred men, 
was landed upon Staten Island, in the lower bay of 
New York. During the voyage two transports were 
captured by American privateers, and General Sir Will 
iam Erskine, with a part of the seventy-first Highland 
Regiment, were made prisoners. The incident is worthy 
of notice as materially affecting the correspondence 
between Washington and General Howe, shortly after 
the event. 

General Howe reached Sandy Hook in the despatch 
frigate "Greyhound," on the twenty-fifth of June, and 
held a secret conference with Governor Tryon, on ship 
board. His fleet first cast anchor at Gravesend Cove, 
July 1st, but after conference Avith Governor Tryon, he 
changed his purpose. He would be too near Washing 
ton. He wrote to Lord Germaine on July 8th as fol 
lows : " He declined to land, as being so near the front 
of the enemy s works. It would be too hazardous, until 
the arrival of the troops with Commodore Holthani, daily 
expected. He was also waiting for the return of General 
Clinton, and deemed it best to defer the possession of 
Rhode Island until the arrival of the second embarkation 
from Europe, unless Carleton should penetrate early into 
this province [New York] ." The letter thus closes : " As 
I must esteem an impression upon the enemy s principal 
force collected in this quarter to be the first object of 
my attention, I shall hold it steadily in view without 
losing sight of those which may be only considered 

Admiral Lord Richard Howe arrived on July 12th with 
a powerful squadron and one hundred and fifty transports 
filled with troops. On the thirteenth a communication 
was despatched to George Washington, Esqr., on behalf 
of the Brothers Howe, Commissioners, proposing terms 
of peace. Washington, in a letter to Schuyler, face- 


tiously styled these gentlemen " Commissioners to dis 
pense pardon to repenting sinners." Howe s Adjutant- 
General, Patterson, called upon General Washington, on 
the twentieth of July, respecting the exchange of prison 
ers, especially General Erskine, and, " purely to effect 
the exchange of these prisoners," addressed Washington 
by his military title. 

Generals Clinton and Cornwallis, repulsed at Charles 
ton, arrived August first, and Commodore Holthani, 
having arrived on the twelfth, landed twenty-six hundred 
British troops, eight thousand four hundred Hessians, 
and camp equipage for the entire army. On the fifteenth 
Sir Peter Parker arrived with twenty-four sail from the 

The British army thus encamped on Staten Island 
numbered, all told, thirty-one thousand six hundred and 
twenty-five men. The effective force, for duty, was 
twenty-six thousand nine hundred and eight, of which 
number twenty thousand accompanied General Howe to 
the attack upon Brooklyn Heights. This was the largest 
army under one command during the war. 

Washington was fully advised of every movement, and 
the Proclamation of Commissioner Howe to the people 
was circulated with his full approval. Sensational rumors 
were as common then as in modern times. As late as the 
nineteenth of August General Roberdeau notified Wash 
ington, in all seriousness, that "a post-rider had told him, 
with great confidence, that General Howe had proposed 
to retire with the fleet and army, and was willing to settle 
the present dispute on any terms asked by Washington : 
that this came from an officer who was willing to swear 
to it ; but as it might have a tendency to lull the inhabi 
tants, he made it the subject of an express." This was 
based upon another false rumor, that England and France 
were at war. Such " recklessness of gossip-mongers " 


received from Washington a scorching rebuke which he 
declared to be the " more important, since many of those 
who opposed the war, on account of business relations 
with the British authorities, were most active in words, 
while lacking in courage to take up arms on either side." 



ONLY a summary analysis of the Battle of Long 
Island is required for explanation of the general 
operations indicated upon the map. Almost every hour 
had its incidents of eventful interest, and few historic 
battles, from its first conception to the ultimate result, 
more strikingly illustrate the influence of one regardful 
judgment which could convert unpromising features into 
conditions of final benefit. The value of military disci 
pline, of presence of mind, and the subordination of every 
will to one ruling spirit, never had a more definite illus 
tration. 1 The infinite value of small details, in prepara 
tion for and the conduct of so serious a venture as to 
meet this great British army, is exhibited at every phase 
of its progress. 

The American army contrasted unfavorably with its 
adversary in every respect. Although the British forces, 
and generally the American forces employed during the 
years of the war, are to be found stated in the Appendix, 
the official roll of Washington s army, on this occasion, 
will add interest to the event. 

On the third of August its strength was as follows : Com 
missioned officers and staff, twelve hundred and twenty- 
five ; non-commissioned officers, fifteen hundred and two ; 
present for duty, ten thousand five hundred and fourteen ; 
sick, present and absent, three thousand six hundred 

1 See " Battles of the Revolution," Chapter XXXI. 


and seventy-eight : making a total of seventeen thousand 
two hundred and twenty-five men. 

Less than one-third of this force had served from the 
beginning of the war. The artillery battalion of Colonel 
Knox numbered less than six hundred men, and the guns 
themselves w T ere of various patterns and calibre, to be 
handled by men who knew little of their use or range. 
On the fifth of August Governor Trumbull of Connecticut 
assured Washington that " he did not greatly dread what 
the enemy could do, trusting Heaven to support us, 
knowing our cause to be righteous." Washington s 
reply, dated the seventh, was characteristic and practical : 
"To trust in the justice of our cause, without our utmost 
exertion, would be tempting Providence." Although 
Trumbull had already sent five regiments forward, he 
soon sent nine additional regiments, averaging about 
three hundred men each, in time to be present when the 
British eventually landed in Westchester County. 

Two regiments under Colonel Prescott, of Bunker Hill 
fame, were on duty upon Governor s Island. The works 
on Long Island, begun by General Lee, had been com 
pleted by General Greene, who had explored the country 
thoroughly and knew the range of every piece. A 
redoubt with seven guns crowned the Heights. The 
exposed point of Red Hook, a combination of marsh and 
solid land, was supplied with five guns. The intrench- 
ments, more than a half mile in length, were protected by 
abatis and four redoubts which mounted twenty guns. 
Greene occupied these redoubts and lines with two regi 
ments of Long Island militia and six regiments of Con 
tinental troops, not one of which exceeded four hundred 
men, for duty. The line extended from Wallabout, the 
present Navy Yard, to Gowanus Bay. 

The total nominal strength of the American army about 
New York on the twenty-sixth of August, including the 


sick, non-effectives, and those without arms, was a little 
over twenty-seven thousand men. The Connecticut 
regiments which had just joined brought such arms as 
they could provide for themselves, and were simply that- 
many citizens with nominal organization, but without 

Meanwhile, the entire line from Brooklyn to King s 
Bridge, fifteen miles, with the navigable waters of the 
Hudson, the Harlem, and East rivers, and their shore 
approaches, had to be guarded. It was not entirely 
certain but that Howe simply feigned an attack upon the 
intrenched position upon the Heights, to draw thither 
Washington s best troops, and take the city by water 
approach. Paulus Hook, then an island, was fortified in 
a measure, but was unable to prevent the passage of two 
vessels which at once cut off water communication with 
Albany and the northern American army. 

Washington had previously issued orders for the govern 
ment of sharp-shooters ; and particularly, " not to throw 
away fire. To fire first with ball and shot." This order 
had its specific significance, and was illustrated in the 
Mexican War, and early in 1861, in America. " Buck- 
and-ball" scattered its missiles, and wounded many who 
would be missed by a single rifle-shot ; and the wounded 
required details of others for their care or removal. " Brig 
adiers were ordered to mark a circle around the several 
redoubts, by which officers are to be directed in giving 
orders for the first discharge." He also ordered "small 
brush to be set up, to mark the line more distinctly, and 
make it familiar to the men, before the enemy arrive within 
the circle." 

The reader will recall the experience of a Washington in 
his early career, when similar methods made his success 
so emphatic. 

When advised of the landing of the British on the twenty- 


second, and that Colonel Hand had retired to Prospect 
Hill (now Prospect Park), Washington sent six regi 
ments to reenforce the garrison of the Heights. Orders 
were also sent to General Heath, then at the head of 
Manhattan Island, to be prepared to forward additional 
troops ; and five regiments from the city force were ready 
to cross East River so soon as it should be determined 
whether the attack was to be made, in force, against the 

General Greene, prostrated with fever, had written on 
the fifteenth, that " he hoped, through the assistance of 
Providence, to be able to ride before an attack should be 
made, but felt great anxiety as to the result." On the 
twenty-third, Washington was compelled to write to Con 
gress, " I have been compelled to appoint General Sullivan 
to the command of the island, owing to General Greene s 
indisposition." In a letter written by Sullivan, on the 
twenty-third, respecting a minor skirmish after the British 
landing, when Hand retired, he said : " I have ordered a 
party out for prisoners to-night. Things argue well for 
us, and I hope are so many preludes to victory." This 
confidence was hardly less unfounded than his faith in the 
success of operations in Canada. It was the inverse of 
sound reason, and made the " less include the greater." 
He was immediately superseded, and General Putnam was 
placed in command. 

The following are some of Washington s orders issued 
to General Putnam on the twenty-sixth of August, when 
it seemed as if only his omnipresence could compel even 
general officers to understand their responsibility for the 
good behavior of the troops : 

" Stop the scattering, unmeaning, and wasteful firing, 
which prevents the possibility of distinguishing between 
a real and a false alarm, which prevents deserters from 


approaching our lines, and must continue, so long as 
every soldier conceives himself at liberty to fire when, 
and at what, he pleases." 

" Guards are to be particularly instructed in their 

" A brigadier of the day is to remain constantly on 
the lines, that he may be upon the spot, and see that 
orders are executed." 

" Skulkers must be shot down upon the spot." 

ff The distinction between a well-regulated army and a 
mob, is the good order and discipline of the former, and 
the licentiousness and disorderly behavior of the latter." 

tf The men not on duty are to be compelled to remain 
at, or near, their respective camps or quarters, that they 
may turn out at a moment s warning ; nothing being more 
probable than that the enemy will allow little time enough 
for the attack." 

rf Your best men should at all hazards prevent the 
enemy passing the woods and approaching your works." 

These orders were preeminently adapted to the char 
acter of the American troops. Their neglect disconcerted 
the entire plan of the Commander-in-Chief for an efficient 
defence of the works. 

The American force on the Heights, including Stirling s 
Brigade, which crossed over the river to Brooklyn on the 
day of the battle, was not quite eight thousand men ; 
but included Atlee s Pennsylvania Rifles, Small wood s 
Maryland and Haslet s Delaware regiments, which then, 
and ever after, were among Washington s " Invincibles." 
But notwithstanding Greene s designation of suitable 
outposts, and Washington s orders, the disposition of the 
American advance outposts was of the feeblest kind. At 
the time of the first landing on the twenty-second; when 
Colonel Hand fell back to Prospect Hill (see map), it 


does not appear from any official paper, or record, that 
he <rave notice of the landing of the second British divi- 

o D 

sion, or established scouts to ascertain and report subse 
quent British movements. Their landing, division after 
division, had been as impressive as it was successful, and 
deserves notice. Four hundred transports were escorted 
by ten line-of-battle ships and twenty frigates. Seventy- 
five flat-boats, besides batteaux and galleys, moving in 
ten distinct, well-ordered divisions, simultaneously 
touched the beach near the present site of Fort Hamilton, 
and landed four thousand men in just two hours, accord 
ing to the Admiral s " log-book," after the signal reached 
the topmast of the "flag-ship." Five thousand additional 
troops were landed with equal celerity and order, a little 
lower down the bay. Before twelve o clock, fifteen thou 
sand men, with artillery, baggage, and stores, were landed 
without hindrance or mishap. On the twenty-fifth, De 
Heister s Hessian command landed with equal skill at 

A glance at the map indicates that the long range of 
hills between Brooklyn and the sea had four openings 
available for approach by the British troops ; the first, 
and shortest, along the bay by Martense Lane ; the sec 
ond, in front of Flatbush and the American intrench- 
ments ; the third, by road northward from Flatbush, to 
Bedford and Newtown ; and a fourth, by road past Cypress 
Hill, which extended to Flushing, but crossed the Bedford 
and Jamaica road about three miles eastward from Bed 

General Stirling, who had been awakened at three 
o clock on the morning of the twenty-seventh, commanded 
the extreme American right. In front of Flatbush there 
were intrenchnients, and one redoubt, with one howitzer 
and three field-pieces. General Sullivan, second in 
command, was, he stated after his capture, "to have com- 


manded within the lines ; but went to the hill near to 
Flatbush, to reconnoitre, with a picket of four hundred 
men, when he was surrounded by the enemy who had 
advanced by the very road he had paid horsemen fifty 
dollars for patrolling by night, while he was in command." 
Miles Pennsylvania Rifles and Wylie s Connecticut were 
at, or near, the Bedford Pass. The Jamaica road had 
been overlooked, or neglected. Putnam, already some 
what impaired in physical vigor, and wholly unacquainted 
with the outposts, made neither reconnoissance nor change 
of pickets, upon receipt of Washington s orders. Instead 
of feeling for, and finding, the enemy, he awaited their 

Without full details, the following incidents occurred 
before Washington arrived and took command in person. 
The British left wing, under General Grant, crowded Stir 
ling and his small command of seventeen hundred men 
back nearly to the Cortelyou House ; but they made a 
gallant fight near the present Greenwood Cemetery. The 
battalions of Smallwood, Haslet, and Atlee covered 
themselves with honors. Stirling heard the firing at 

o O 

Flatbush, and hastened his retreat. 

Cornwallis, upon his first landing, on the twenty-second, 
moved toward Flatbush, but finding it held by the American 
advance works, dropped down to Flatlands. De Heister, 
however, moved directly upon Fiat bush, and commenced 
cannonading the redoubt and intrenchments, where Sul 
livan, being incidentally present, was in command. This 
advance of De Heister was in effect & feint attack, to be 
made real and persistent at the proper time. 

On the British right, General Howe, with Clinton, 
Percy, and Cornwallis, gained the Jamaica road undiscov 
ered, rested their forces until half-past eight in the morn 
ing, and were soon directly in front of the American works, 
in the rear of Sullivan and cutting off his retreat. Corn- 


wallis gained position near the Cortelyou House, in the 
line of Stirling s retreat. De Heister, advised by Clin 
ton s guns that the British right had accomplished its 
flank movement, advanced promptly upon both Sullivan 
and Stirling, and captured both, with a considerable 
portion of their commands. 

The Battle of Long Island had been fought. Wash 
ington had declared that he would make the acquisition 
of Brooklyn Heights by the British, if realized, " as costly 
as possible." It had been his expectation that by the ad 
vance posts ordered, and careful pickets, he could prolong 
resistance, if not winning full success. He had taken 
pains to convince the troops that the resistance at Bunker 
Hill and Fort Moultrie was a fair indication of their abil 
ity, and that the British troops understood it well. 
When John Jay proposed to burn New York and leave 
it in ruins, Washington insisted that it would tend to 
demoralize his army, and offer to the people and to the 
world a painful contrast with the successful restoration 
of Boston to her own people. 

The Battle of Long Island had to be fought. As soon 
as it began, Washington crossed the river with three regi 
ments. If Howe had made immediate advance, Washing 
ton would have resisted, with quite as large a force as 
Howe could have handled, in an assault. 

Washington immediately, and in person, examined 
every phase of the situation. His first act was to organ 
ize a strong detachment to support Stirling who was 
opposing the advance by the harbor road ; but the swift 
advance of the British Grenadiers across the very face of 
the intrenchments, defeated his purpose. Every man 
was summoned to roll-call and kept on the alert. At 
early dawn the next morning he went through all the in 
trenchments, encouraging the men. Before noon, General 
Mifflin arrived with the well-drilled regiments of Glover, 


Shaw, and Magee. These organizations, which had been 
sneered at as " proud of iine arms and fine feathers," as 
they marched up the ascent with solid ranks and steady 
step, supplied with knapsacks, and trim as if on special 
parade, were received by the garrison with cheers and 
congratulations. The garrison was now nine thousand 
strong. But a "north-easter" set in. The rain fell in 
torrents, filling the trenches, and compelling even the 
British regulars to keep to the shelter of their tents. 
Washington was everywhere, and took no sleep. The 
British opened trenches six hundred yards from the face 
of Fort Putnam (now Washington Park), not daring 
to storm the position ; but could work only during inter 
vals in the tempest. 

Washington held his enemy at bay. But upon the 
same reasoning which enforced his first occupation of 
Brooklyn Heights, boldly facing the British army at its 
first landing, he resolved to evacuate the position with 
out decisive battle. His fixed policy, to avoid posi 
tively determining issues which were beyond his im 
mediate mastery, so as to wear out his adversary by 
avoiding his strokes, and thereby gain vantage-ground 
for turning upon him when worn out, over-confident, 
and off his guard, had its illustration now. His army 
was not versed in tactical movements upon a large scale, 
and was largely dependent for its success upon the super 
vising wisdom with which its undoubted courage could 
be made available in the interests of the new Nation. 

The retreat from Brooklyn was a signal achievement, 
characteristic of Washington s policy and of the men who 
withdrew under his guidance. They were kept closely 
to duty, as if any hour might command their utmost 
energies in self-defence ; but their Conimander-in-Chief 
had his own plan, as before Boston, which he did not 
reveal to his officers until it was ripe for execution. How 


well he kept his own counsel will be seen by his action. 
The military ruse by which he achieved the result had its 
climax five years later, when he so adroitly persuaded Sir 
Henry Clinton of immediate danger to New York, that 
the capture of Cor nw alii s closed the Avar, and the sur 
render of New York followed. And as the month of 
August, 1776, was closing, Generals Clinton and Cornwal- 
lis were reckoning, by hours, upon the capture of Wash 
ington s army and the restoration of British supremacy 
over the American continent. 

Early on the morning of the twenty-ninth day of 
August, the following private note was placed in the 
hands of General Heath, then commanding at Kings- 
bridge, by General Mifflin, the confidential messenger of 
the American Commander-in-Chief : 

LONG ISLAND, Aug. 29, 1776. 

DEAR GENERAL : We have many battalions from New Jersey 
which are coming over to relieve others here. You will therefore 
please to order every flat-bottomed boat and other craft at your post, 
fit for transporting troops, down to New York, as soon as possible. 
They must be manned by some of Colonel Hutchinson s men, and 
sent without the least delay. I write by order of the General. 


Commissary-General Trumbull, also, at the same time, 
bore orders to Assistant Quartermaster-General Hughes, 
instructing him "to impress every craft, on either side 
of New York, that could be kept afloat, and had either 
oars, or sails, or could be furnished with them, and 
to have them all in the East River by dark." The 
response to these orders was so promptly made that the 
boats reached the foot of Brooklyn Heights just at dusk 
that afternoon. An early evening conference of officers 
was ordered, and Washington announced his plan for 
immediate return to New York. The proposition was 


unanimously adopted. The Commander-in-Chief acted 
instantly. By eight o clock the troops were under arms. 
The fresh and experienced regiments were sent to man 
the advance works, to relieve the weary troops, including 
the militia. The sick were promptly gathered for the 
earliest removal. Every indication promised immediate 
action ; and intimations were disseminated among the 
troops that as soon as the sick and inefficient troops were 
withdrawn, a sortie would be made, in force, against 
Howe s investing works. The ruse of anticipated ree n- 
forcements from New Jersey, upon removal of the invalids, 
cheered both sick and well. No possible method of in 
spiring self-possession and courage for any endeavor 
could have been more wisely designed* 

Colonel Glover, of Marblehead, Mass., whose regi 
ment was composed of hardy fishermen and seamen, 
had charge of the boats. The regiments last recruited, 
and least prepared for battle, and the sick, were the first 
to be withdrawn. As early as nine o clock, and within 
an hour after the " general beat to arms," the movement 
began, systematically, steadily, company by company, 
as orderly as if marching in their own camp. A fearful 
storm still raged. Drenched and weary, none complained. 
It was Washington s orders. Often hand-in-hand, to 
support each other, these men descended the steep, slip 
pery slopes to the water s edge, and seated themselves in 
silence ; while increasing wind and rain, with incessant 
violence, constantly threatened to flood, or sink, the mis 
erable flat-boats which were to convey them to the city, 
only a few hundred yards away. And thus until mid 
night. At that hour the wind and tide became so violent 
that no vessel could carry even a closely reefed sail. The 
larger vessels, in danger of being swept out to sea, had 
to be held fast to shore ; dashing against each other, 
and with difficulty kept afloat. Other boats > with muffled 


oars, were desperately but slowly propelled against the 
outgoing tide. A few sickly lanterns here and there 
made movement possible. The invisible presence of the 
Commander-in-Chief seemed to resolve all clangers and 
apparent confusion into some pervasive harmony of 
purpose among officers and men alike, so that neither 
leaking boats nor driving storm availed to disconcert the 
silent progress of embarking nearly ten thousand men. . 

Just after midnight, both wind and tide changed. The 
storm from the north which had raged thus long, kept 
the British fleets at their anchorage in the lower bay. 
At last, with the clearing of the sky and change of 
wind, the water became smooth, and the craft of all kinds 
and sizes, loaded to the water s edge, made rapid prog 
ress. Meanwhile, strange to relate, a heavy fog rested 
over the lower bay and island, while the peninsula of 
New York was under clear starlight. 

For a few moments, toward morning, a panic nearly 
ensued. An order to hasten certain troops to the river 
was misunderstood as applying to all troops, including 
those in the redoubts ; and a rumor that the British were 
advancing, and had entered the works, led even the cover 
ing-party to fall back. Washington instantly saw the 
error, restored the men to their places, and the British 
pickets never discovered their temporary absence. 

The military stores, and such guns as were not too 
heavy to be taken through the mud, were safely placed 
on the transports. With the last load, Mitiiin, and last 
of all, Washington, took passage. 

During the day, the troops and stores on Governor s 
Island were also removed ; and the evacuation was com 
plete. If the landing often thousand disciplined troops 
by General Howe, on the twenty-second, over a placid 
sea, and in bright sunlight, was magnificent for its beauty 
and system, the safe embarkation of ten thousand men 


by Washington, on the night of the twenty-ninth, was 
sublime for the implicit faith of the soldiers and the 
supreme potency of his commanding will. 

The Italian historian Botta says of this event : " Who 
ever will attend to all the details of this retreat, will 
easily believe that no military operation was ever con 
ducted by great captains with more ability and prudence, 
or under more favorable auspices." 

At daybreak of the thirtieth, British pickets entered 
the American works ; and the most advanced were enabled 
to fire a few shots at the last American detachment as 
it landed safely upon the New York side. 



"TITTASHINGTON S labors were neither lessened nor 

V V interrupted when he assembled his army on the 
thirtieth day of August, 17 76. He had been in the saddle 
or on foot, without sleep, for more than forty-eight hours ; 
and it would require a large volume even to outline the 
mass of minute details which had to receive his attention. 
His own account, as contained in private letters, can be 
summed up in suggestive groups such as, "tools care 
lessly strewn about" ; " cartridges exposed to the rain" ; 
and, " the soldiers, too often the officers, ignorant as 
children of the responsibility of a single sentry or gunner, 
wherever located, along rampart or trench." 

On the evening of the thirtieth, he thus described the 
situation : " The militia are dismayed, intractable, and 
impatient to return home. Great numbers have gone 
off; in some instances almost by whole regiments, by 
half ones, and by companies, at a time. With the deep 
est concern I am obliged to confess my want of confidence 
with the generality of the troops." 

He urged Congress to establish a regular army at once ; 
to enlist men for the war ; pressed the immediate aban 
donment of the city, and put the plain question, whether 
it " should be left standing for British headquarters." 

On the second day of September, the number of men 
present for duty was less than twenty thousand. On the 
same day he reorganized its formation into three grand 



divisions, or corps : one under Putnam, in command of 
the city ; one under Spencer, in the absence of Greene, at 
Harlem, to prevent a British landing there ; and the third 
under Heath, at King s Bridge. 

On the third of September, Congress ordered two 
North Carolina battalions, under General Moore, to 
march with all possible expedition to reenforce the army 
at New York ; also a Continental battalion from Rhode 
Island ; and urged Virginia to forward all the troops 
within her power to furnish. On the same day, Putnam 
uro;ed the fortification of Harlem Heights, Mount Wash- 

O O 

ington, and the Jersey shore ; if possible, to prevent 
Howe s ascending the Hudson River to attack the north 
ern army. On the next day, the fourth, Washington was 
again compelled to occupy himself with such minute details 
as belonged to officers of the lowest rank. Such ff diabol 
ical practices as robbing apple orchards and gardens, and 
straggling without aim or purpose, instead of drilling 
and preparing for their country s safety," were officially 
reprimanded, and three roll-calls per day were advised, 
to keep the men near their duty. On the fifth of Sep 
tember, Greene advised a general and speedy retreat from 
the city, and a council was called to meet on the day 
succeeding, for consideration of the proposition. The 
council did convene on the sixth, and Washington 
thus announces to Congress its action : The Council 
was opposed to retiring from New York, although they 
acknowledged that it would not be tenable if attacked by 
artillery " ; and adds significantly : " Some, to whom the 
opinion of Congress was known, were not a little influ 
enced in their opinions, as they were led to suspect that 
Congress wished it to be retained at all hazards." Gen 
eral Putnam, in concurring with his Commander-in-Chief, 
shrewdly observed : "This dooms New York to destruction ; 
but what are ten or twenty cities, to the grand object?" 


On the eighth, of September, Washington reported the 
uiilitia of Connecticut as reduced from six thousand to 
two thousand men ; and in a few days their number was 
but nominal, twenty or thirty in some regiments. The 
residue were discharged and sent home with a recommen 
dation to Governor Trumbull, "that it was about time to 
begin dealing with deserters." 

Although Washington coticurred in Putnam s general 
idea of strengthening the Hudson River shore by earth 
works and redoubts, he anticipated failure to make them 
adequate for control of its waters, because of the limited 
power and range of his guns. The British had already 
extended their right wing as far as Flushing (see map), 
with posts at Bushwick, Newtown, and Astoria, and had 
also occupied Montressor and Buchanan s, now Ward s 
and Randall s islands. 

Upon appeal to Massachusetts, that Colony made a 
draft of one-fifth of her population, excepting only certain 
exposed localities and certain classes. Connecticut was no 
less patriotic, and Governor Trumbull made earnest effort 
to place the Colony foremost in support of the cause in 
peril. That Colony, so closely adjoining New York on 
the west, and exposed on its entire southern boundary 
to maritime excursions, was peculiarly in danger. On 
the fourteenth, Congress at last authorized eighty-five 
regiments to be enlisted for five years ; and the advice of 
Greene, when he first joined the army in 1775, and of 
Washington, after assuming command at Cambridge, 
began to be accepted as sound policy and essential to 
ultimate success. 

At this stage of the narrative of Washington s career 
as a Soldier, it is interesting to consider his own views of 
the situation as expressed in a letter to the Continental 
Congress. He thus wrote : " Men of discernment will see 
that by such works and preparations we have delayed the 


operations (British) of the campaign till it is too late to 
effect any capital incursions into the country. It is now 
obvious that they mean to enclose us on the island of 
New York, by taking post in my rear, while their ship 
ping secures the front, and thus oblige us to fight them 
on their own terms, or surrender at discretion." 

Again, "Every measure is to be formed with some ap 
prehension that all of our troops will not do their duty. 
On our side the war should be defensive. It has even 
been called a r war of posts. We should, on all occasions, 
avoid a general action, and never be drawn into the 
necessity to put anything to risk. Persuaded that it 
would be presumptuous to draw out our young troops 
into open ground against their superior numbers and 
discipline, I have never spared the spade and the pick 
axe ; but I have never found that readiness to defend, 
even strong posts, at all hazards, which is necessary 
to derive the greatest benefit from them." 

Again, " I am sensible that a retreating army is 
encircled with difficulties, that declining an ensrasrement 

O O O 

subjects a general to reproach ; but when the fate of 
America may be at stake on the issue, we should pro 
tract the war, if possible. That they can drive us out is 
equally clear. Nothing seems to remain but the time of 
their taking possession." 

The thoughtful reader will find these quotations to 
l)e very suggestive of some future offensive action on 
the part of Washington whenever the British might 
be shut up in winter quarters ; and the reply of Congress, 
whereby they authorize him " not to retain New York 
longer than he thought proper for the public service," was 
accompanied by the following Resolution: " That General 
Washington be acquainted that Congress would have 
special care taken, in case he should find it necessary 
to quit New York, that no damage be done to the said 


city by his troops, on their leaving it ; the Congress 
having no doubt of their being able to recover the same, 
though the enemy should, for a time, have possession 
of it." 

The experience of the Continental army before Boston 
was now repeated. New recruits came in daily, to fill the 
places made vacant by expiring enlistments ; but again 
the army seemed to be "fast wasting away." 

The interval is significant because of another effort on 
the part of General Howe and his brother, Admiral 
Howe, special commissioners, to settle the controversy 
upon terms alike satisfactory to the American people and 
the British crown ; but John Adams, Edward Rutledge, 
and Benjamin Franklin, commissioners appointed by Con 
gress, insisted first upon Independence, and a subsequent 
alliance between the two nations as friendly powers. 
This ended the negotiations. Such a settlement, if it had 
been realized, might have imparted to Great Britain even 
a prouder destiny than the succeeding century developed. 

At that juncture of affairs, however, and as a key to 
General Howe s importunity in securing at least " a sus 
pension of hostilities," he was urging upon the British 
Government, with the same pertinacity as Washington 
besought Congress, to increase his army. His figures 
were large, and worthy of notice. He wanted ten thou 
sand men for the occupation of Newport, R.I., that 
he might threaten Boston, and make incursions into 
Connecticut. He demanded for the garrison of New 
York twenty thousand men ; of which number, seventeen 
thousand should be available for field service. He asked 
for ten thousand more, for operations into New Jersey, 
where Washington had established a general Camp of 
Instruction for all troops arriving from the south ; and 
still another ten thousand for operations in the Southern 
Colonies. It is not improbable that much of General 


Howe s tardiness in following up temporary success, in 
all his subsequent campaigns, was based upon the convic 
tion embodied in these enormous requisitions for 
troops that the war had already assumed a character of 
very grave importance and a corresponding uncertainty 
of the result. 

Events crowded rapidly. On the tenth of September, 
Washington began the removal of valuable stores. He 
acted as quickly as if he were in Howe s place, seeking 
the earliest possible possession of New York. On the 
twelfth, a Council of War decided that a force of eight 
thousand men should be left for the defence of Fort 
Washington and its dependencies. Of eight regiments 
of the very best troops, reporting three thousand three 
hundred and twenty-two present, the sick-roll reduced 
the effective strength twelve hundred and nine men. 
On the fourteenth, additional British vessels passed up 
East River, landing troops at Kipp s Bay on the sixteenth. 
Then occurred one of the most stirring incidents of the 
war. One of the best brigades in the army, and one 
which had previously fought with gallantry and success, 
gave way. Washington, advised of the panic, denounced 
their behavior as " dastardly and cowardly." He dashed 
among them, and with drawn sword mingled with the 
fugitives, to inspire them with courage. Tn his report he 
says : "I used every means in my power to rally them to 
the fight, but my attempts were fruitless and ineffectual ; 
and on the appearance of not more than sixty or seventy 
of the enemy they ran away without firing a shot." In 
the strong language of General Greene : " Washington, on 
this occasion, seemed to seek death, rather than life." 
These same troops, a part of Parsons Brigade, afterwards 
redeemed themselves ; andi Washington was wise enough 
to give them opportunity, under his own eye, as espe 
cially trustworthy troops. This incident found its counter- 


part in the career of Napoleon. At the siege of Toulon, 
one denii-brigade fled before a sally of less than one- 
fourth its numbers : but afterwards lost nearly half its 
strength in storming and entering the same fortress. 

Immediately upon this unfortunate affair, the whole 
army was withdrawn to Harlem Heights. This position 
was regarded as impregnable ; but the following extract 
from Washington s report to Congress exposes the deep 
anguish of his soul : " We are now encamped with the 
main body of the army upon the Heights of Harlem, 
where I should hope the enemy would meet with a re 
treat, in case of attack, but experience, to my great afflic 
tion, has convinced me that this is a matter to be wished, 
rather than expect ed.*" 

The British lines were advanced, and extended from 
Bloomingdale across to Horn s Hook, near Hell Gate : and 
General Howe made his headquarters at the Beekman 
Mansion, not far from those just vacated by Washington 
on Murray Hill. 

And just then and there occurred an incident of the 
war which made an indelible impress upon the great heart 
of the American Commander-in-Chief : and that was 
the execution of one of his confidential messengers, who 
had been sent to report upon the British movements on 
Long Island young Nathan Hale. The Rev. Edward 
Everett Hale, of Roxbury, Boston, furnishes the following 
outline of service which had greatly endeared Captain 
Hale to Washington : 

~ Just after the Battle of Lexington, at a town-meeting, 
with the audacity of boyhood, he cried out, Let us never 
lay down our arms till we have achieved independence ! 
Not yet two years out of Yale College, he secured release 
from the school he was teaching in New London ; enlisted 
in Webb s Regiment, the 7th Connecticut ; by the first 
of September was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain ; 


and on the fourteenth, marched to Cambridge. He shared 
in the achievement at Dorchester Heights, and his reffi- 

O O 

uient was one of the first five that were despatched to 
New London, and thence to New York, by water. On 
the twenty-ninth of August, 1776, while the garrison of 
Brooklyn Heights was being hurried to the boats, Hale, 
with a sergeant and four of his men, attempted to burn 
the frigate Plimnix ; and did actually capture one of her 
tenders, securing four cannon. At a meeting of officers, 
Washington stated that f he needed immediate information 
of the enemy s plans. When dead silence ensued, Hale, 
the youngest of the Captains, still pale from recent sick 
ness, spoke out: I will undertake it. If my country 
demands a peculiar service, its claims are imperious.* 
During the second week in September, taking his Yale 
College diploma with him, to pass for a school-master, he 
procured the desired information ; but his boat failed to 
meet him. A British boat answered the signal, and his 
notes, written in Latin, exposed him. He was taken to 
New York on that eventful twenty-first of September, when 
five hundred of its buildings were burned ; was summarily 
tried, and executed the next day at the age of twenty-one. 
His last sentence, when in derision he was allowed to 
speak as he ascended the gallows, was simply this : r I only 
regret that I have but one life to give to my country. " 

He had become a member of Knowlton s Connecticut 
Rangers ; and the Beekman House and Rutger s apple 
orchard, where he was hanged from a tree, located by 
Lossing near the present intersection of East Broadway 
and Market streets, were long regarded with interest by 
visitors in search of localities identified with the Revolu 
tionary period of Washington s occupation of New York. 

In resuming our narrative, we find the American army 
spending its first night upon Harlem Heights. Rain fell, 
but there were no tents. The men were tired and 


hungry, but there were no cooking utensils ; and only 
short rations, at best. They realized that through a per 
fectly useless panic they had sacrificed necessaries of life. 
For four weeks the army remained in this position, not 
unfrequently engaging the British outposts, and on 
several occasions, with credit, making sallies or resisting 
attack ; but the fresh troops, as ever before, had to mature 
slowly, under discipline. After a brilliant action on the 
sixteenth, in which Colonel Knowlton, who had distin 
guished himself at Bunker Hill, was killed, as well as 
Colonel Leich, and where Adjutant-General Reed, of 
Washington s staff, equally exposed himself - " to ani 
mate," as he said, " troops Avho would not go into danger 
unless their officers led the way," the Commander-in-Chief 
issued an order of which the following is an extract : 
" The losses of the enemy, yesterday, would undoubtedly 
have been much greater if the orders of the Commander- 
in-Chief had not in some instances been contradicted by 
inferior officers, who, however well they meant, ought 
not to presume to direct. It is therefore ordered, that 
no officer commanding a party, and having received 
orders from the Commander-in-Chief, depart from them 
without orders from the same authority ; and as many 
may otherwise err, the army is now acquainted that the 
General s orders are delivered by his Adjutant-General, 
or one of his aides-de-camp, Mr. Tighlman, or Colonel 
Moylan, the Quartermaster-General." 

At this time, Massachusetts sent her drafted men under 
General Lincoln. General Greene assumed command in 
New Jersey. Generals Sullivan and Stirling, exchanged, 
resumed their old commands. 

The army Return of October fifth indicated a total rank 
and file of twenty-seven thousand seven hundred and 
thirty-five men, of whom eight thousand and seventy-five 
were sick, or on a furlough ; and requiring to complete 


these regiments, eleven thousand two hundred and sev 
enty-one men. On the eighth of October, General Moore, 
commanding the Camp of Instruction (called the " Flying 
Camp," because of its changeable location) in New Jersey, 
reported a total force of six thousand five hundred and 
forty-eight men. 

On the ninth of October, the frigates Phcenix and Roe 
buck safely passed the forts as for north as Dobb s Ferry. 
It became evident that General Putnam s methods would not 
control the Hudson River route of British advance. Sick 
ness increased in the camps. The emergency forced upon 
Washington the immediate reorganization of the medical 
department ; and he ordered an examination of applicants 
before allowing a commission to be issued and rank coiir 
ferred. Such had been the laxity of this necessary class 
of officers, that General Greene reported his surgeons as 
" without the least particle of medicine"; adding: "The 
regimental surgeons embezzle the public stores committed 
to their care, so that the regimental sick suffer, and 
should have the benefit of a general hospital." Washing 
ton issued an order, after his own very lucid style, de 
ploring the fact that "the periodical homesickness, which 
was common just before an anticipated engagement, had 
broke out again with contagious virulence." 

The want of discipline, however, was not wholly with 
the rank and file. Adjutant-General Reed, in writing to 
his wife, expressed his purpose to resign, for he had seen 
a captain shaving one of his men before the house ; and 
added : " To enforce discipline in such cases, makes a man 
odious and detestable, a position which no one will 
choose." And Colonel Small wood, afterwards General, 
and one of the best soldiers of the war, in writing to the 
Maryland Council of Safety, complains of " the ignorance 
and inattention of officers who fail to realize the impor 
tance of that discipline which is so excellent in the Com- 


rnander-in-Chief " ; adding : " It would be a happy day 
for the United States if there was as much propriety 
in every department under him." 

At this period, General Howe again wrote to Lord 
Germaine, that he " did not expect to finish the campaign 
until spring"; "that the Provincials would not join the 
British army"; and called for more foreign troops, and 
eight additional men-of-war. The monotony of these 
frequent requisitions of the British Commander-in-Chief 
makes a tiresome story ; but like the successive appeals 
of Washington to Congress, Provincial Councils and 
Committees of Safety they form an indispensable part 
of the narrative of those facts which tested Washington s 
character as a Soldier. 

Having observed increased activity of the British ship 
ping in the East River, and indications that Howe would 
abandon a direct attack upon his fortified position upon 
Harlem Heights, Washington prepared for the contin 
gency of more active duty elsewhere, and announced 
October eleventh as the day for a personal inspection 
of every company under his command. 



E steady hold of Harlem Heights against Howe s 
-JL advance on the sixteenth day of September, some 
times called the Battle of Harlem Heights, was another 
" object lesson " for General Howe s improvement, and he 
observed its conditions. His adversary invited and he 
declined the invitation to attack the American position. 
His next plan was self-suggestive, to cut the American 
army from its Connecticut supplies, since his fleet con 
trolled the Hudson River, and by a flank and rear move 
ment to pen it up for leisurely capture. He began this 
movement October twelfth. 

The Guards, Light Infantry, Reserve, and Donop s 
Hessians, landed at Throgg s Neck (see map). But 
Hand s American Rifles had already destroyed the bridge 
to the main-land ; and even at low tide the artillery could 
not safely effect a crossing. Colonel Prescott, with 
others, especially detailed by Washington, watched every 
movement, and held firmly their posts without flinching ; 
so that Howe placed his troops in camp, " awaiting reen- 
forcements." OR the sixteenth and seventeenth, several 
brigades from Flushing, with the Grenadiers, landed at 
Pell s Point. Even here, Washington had anticipated 
his advance ; for Colonel Glover made such resistance 
from behind stone fences, then common to that region, 
that this last command also went into camp, " waiting for 



reenforcements." On the twenty-first, Howe advanced 
his right and centre columns beyond New Roehelle, where 
he again went into camp, " waiting for reenforcements." 

During the week, General Knyphausen reached Staten 
Island from Europe with additional Hessian troops ; and 
these, with the British Light Dragoons, landed at Myer s 
Point near New Roehelle. De Heister also came up from 
Howe s first camping-ground, and the entire army ad 
vanced parallel with the River Bronx, to within four 
miles of White Plains. 

Much had been expected of the Light Dragoons and 
their charges on horseback, with drawn sabres, to cut to 
pieces the undisciplined rebels. But they inspired no 
terror. It was the rebels opportunity. Washington 
reminded the army, "that in a country where stone 
fences, crags, and ravines were so numerous, the Ameri 
can riflemen needed no better chance to pick oft the riders 
and supply ithe army with much-needed horses." He- 
offered a " reward of one hundred dollars to any soldier 
who would bring in an armed trooper and his horse." 
Colonel Haslet crossed the Bronx and attacked the 
Queen s Rangers, captured thirty-six, and left as many 
on the field, besides carrying away sixty muskets. 
Colonel Hand next had a lively skirmish with the Hes 
sian Yagers, who, accustomed to marching in close array, 
met an experience similar to that of Braddock s command 
years before. 

Besides all that, it was a constant inspiration to the 
American troops, and not least to the Militia, thus to 
distribute themselves along the extended British columns, 
and shoot, when they pleased, at some live target. Howe 
had already sent ships-of-war up the Hudson, and pro 
posed to swing to the left at White Plains, and sweep 
the entire American army back upon the Harlem. 

When Washington learned from his scouts that the 


British army was thus extended along the Sound, he 
hurried all supplies forward to White Plains ; pushed 
forward his own army, division by division, along the 
west bank of the Bronx, always on high ground ; estab 
lished earthworks at every prominent point, and made a 
small chain of communicating posts throughout the entire 
distance. His purpose was to crowd the British army 
upon the coast, where innumerable sea-inlets made 
progress difficult ; and by using the shorter, interior line 
to White Plains, to place himself in position to fight to 
advantage, upon ground of his own selection. Of course 
time became an element of determining value. Howe 
gained a start on the twelfth ; but lost five days at Throgg s 
Neck, and four days more at New Rochelle. As Wash 
ington already had a depot of Connecticut supplies at 
White Plains, he advanced to that point with vigor, so 
soon as he perceived that Howe would not attack from 
the east, as he had declined to attack from the south. 
On the twelfth, General Greene asked permission to 
join from New Jersey, and on the fourteenth General 
Lee reported for duty. Some reference to this officer is 
of immediate interest. On that very morning he had 
written a letter to General Gates, who, as well as him 
self, had seen military service in the British army, each 
holding commissions in the American army subordinate 
to Washington, Lee, as senior Major-General. The 
insubordination and arrogance of this letter are patent. 
The following is an extract : 

FORT CONSTITUTION, Oct. 14, 1776. 

MY DEAR GENERAL GATES : I write this scroll in a hurry. Col 
onel Wood will describe the position of our army, which in my 
breast I do not approve. Inter nos, the Congress seems to stumble 
at every step. I don t mean one or two of the cattle, but the whole 
stable. I have been very free in delivering my opinions, and in my 
opinion General Washington is much to blame in not menacing em 
with resignation, unless they refrain from unhinging the army in 
their absurd interference. 


On the twenty-second of October, while General Howe 
was still awaiting reinforcements two miles above New 
Rochelle, General Heath s division made a night march, 
reached Chatterton Hill at daylight, and began to 
strengthen the defences at White Plains. Sullivan s 
division arrived the next night, and General Lord Stir 
ling s immediately after. On the twenty-third, Lee s 
Grand Division joined from New Jersey, and the entire 
American army, with its best officers and troops, awaited 
the action of General Howe. McDougalPs Brigade and 
Lieutenant Alexander Hamilton, with two guns, occupied 
Chatterton Hill. (See map.) 

Washington s position was not, intrinsically, the best 
for final defence ; but he had selected an ultimate position 
which Howe could not assail without loss of communica 
tion Avith New York. 

The American left was protected by low ground, acces 
sible only with difficulty. The right was met by a bend 
in the River Bronx. One line of breastworks controlled 
the Connecticut road. Two successive lines in the rear 
were upon a gradual ascent, capable of vigorous defence. 
Washington also controlled all roads that lead westward 
to the Hudson River. But more important than all, 
somewhat advanced to the south-west, was Chatterton 
Hill, commanding the L of the river, in which angle the 
army of Howe had taken position. Behind the American 
army was still higher ground, which commanded the 
passes through the hills by the Peekskill and upper 
Tarrytown roads. 

Washington was now superior to his adversary in 
respect of numbers, and was in one of his moods when he 
invited attack. On the twenty-eighth of October, the two 
armies confronted each other. But a direct advance by 
Howe required first that he dislodge the Americans from 
-Chatterton s Hill. Otherwise, Howe would leave his 


Supplies exposed, as well as his left wing, to an attack 
from the rear. He decided to storm the hill. The guns 
of Hamilton and the steepness of the ascent foiled the 
first attempt. Then Colonel Rahl, afterwards killed at 
Trenton, and Donop, with their Hessian brigades, turned 
the American right by another route, and the Americans 
retired just as General Putnam was starting other troops 
to their support. The British brigade of General Leslie 
lost one hundred and fifty-four men, and the Hessian 
casualties increased the entire loss to two hundred and 
thirty-one. The American casualties were one hundred 
and thirty. 

On the twenty-ninth, both armies rested. On the thir 
tieth, Lord Percy arrived with his division, and the next 
day was designated for the advance. But the day was 
stormy and the movement was suspended. The next day 
following, Avas named in Orders for advance all along the 
lines, " weather permitting," the British improving their 
time by strengthening their own position. 

The next day came. The British army was by itself. 
During the night, Washington had retired in good order, 
five miles, to North Castle Heights, from which the entire 
British army could not dislodge him. Such Avas the his 
torical battle of White Plains, more properly, the Battle of 
Chattertoirs Hill, where the fighting took place. 

Howe immediately abandoned New Rochelle as his 
base, left White Plains on the fifth, encamped at Dobb s 
Ferry on the sixth, and thus gained communication with 
his ships on the Hudson. 

On the same day, the sixth, Washington advised Con 
gress that "he expected a movement of General Howe 
into New Jersey." He called a Council of War, under 
that conviction, the same afternoon, and decided to throw 
a considerable body of troops into that Province. 

The retention of Fort Washington was a question of 


much embarrassment. Even its capture by Howe would 
not be a compensation to him, or to Great Britain, for 
the escape of Washington s army. On the twenty-ninth 
of October, General Greene prepared a careful itinerary 
for a march through New Jersey, minutely specifying 
the proposed distance for each day s progress, and the 
requisite supplies for each. That itinerary furnishes a 
remarkable model of good Logistics. Washington wrote 
to Congress, that " General Howe must do something to 
save his reputation ; that he would probably go to New 
Jersey" ; and then urged, " that the militia be in readiness 
to supply the places of those whose terms of service would 
soon expire." To Greene he wrote: "They can have no 
other capital object, unless it be Philadelphia." It was 
then known that General Carleton retired from Crown 
Point November second, so that there was no danger of 
a British movement up the Hudson. He again wrote to 
Greene as to Fort Washington : " If we cannot prevent 
vessels from passing up, and the enemy are in possession 
of the surrounding country, what valuable purpose can it 
answer to hold a post from which the expected benefit 
cannot be had ? I am therefore inclined to think that it 
will not be prudent to hazard the men and stores at Fort 
Washington ; but as you are on the spot, leave it to you 
to give such orders as you deem best, and, so far revok 
ing the order to Colonel McGee, to defend it to the last." 
At this time, more than half of the enlistments of the 
army were on their extreme limit of service. Howe 
promised the militia of New York, many of whom were 
in the garrison of the fort, that " he would guarantee to 
them their liberties and properties, as well as a free and 
general pardon." Many decided not to reenlist. On 
the ninth of November, having in mind the eventualities 
of a New Jersey campaign, Washington moved one 
division of the army across the Hudson at Peekskill, 


;ind ordered a second to move the day following. On 
the tenth he placed General Lee in charge of the general 
camp, with careful instructions as to the discipline of the 
men; and notified him, in case the enemy should re 
move the whole or the greater part of their force to the 
west side of the Hudson, to follow with all possible de 
spatch, leaving the militia to cover the frontiers of Con 
necticut, in case of need. 

On the eve of his own departure he also notified Gov 
ernor Trumbull of Connecticut, that " the campaign into 
New Jersey would withdraw Lee and his division from 
the Hudson " ; and made arrangements for the " care and 
storage for the winter, of all tents and stores that might 
remain on hand after the discharge of enlisted men whose 
term should expire." 

The following terse order was then issued to all the 
divisions which were to accompany him in this, his " First 
New Jersey campaign " : 

" Colonels will examine the baggage of troops under 
marching orders ; tents and spare arms, to go in the first 
wagons, then the proper baggage of the regiment ; no 
chairs, tables, or heavy chests, or personal baggage, to 
be put in, as it will certainly be put off and left. No 
officer of any rank to meddle with a wagon or a cart 
appropriated for any other regiment, or use ; that no 
discharged man be allowed to carry away arms, camp 
kettles, utensils, or any other public stores ; recruiting 
officers, as detailed, to proceed with their duty ; no boys, 
or old men, to be enlisted, and if so, to be returned at the 
hands of the officer, with no allowance for any expense 
he may be at." 

On the twelfth of November, before crossing the 
Hudson River, Washington placed General Heath in 
command of the Highlands, and proceeded to Fort Lee, 
opposite Fort Washington. The British army had already 


removed from Dobb s Ferry to King s Bridge. At this 
time, three hundred British transports with a large force 
on board, lay at Sandy Hook, and their destination was 
suspected to be either Newport, Rhode Island, Philadel 
phia, or South Carolina. 

Washington established his headquarters about nine 
miles from Fort Lee. It is not desirable to burden the 
narrative with the details of the capture of Fort Wash 
ington. The fort had been built to control the river, 
and it was weak, landward; depending upon the river, 
even for water, having no well. The ground fell off 
rapidly ; but there were neither trenches nor regular 
bastions, and only one redoubt. Washington wrote to 
Congress, after reaching Fort Lee : " It seems to be gen 
erally believed that the investing of Fort Washington, is 
one object they have in view. I propose to stay in this 
neighborhood a few days ; in which time I expect the design 
of the enemy will be more disclosed, and their incursions 
made in this quarter, or their investure of Fort Wash 
ington, if they are intended." While the assault was in 
preparation, Washington took boat to cross and exam 
ine for himself the condition of the works ; but meeting 
Generals Putnam and Greene, who satisfied him that there 
would be a stout defence, he returned without landing. 
Three assaults were made, Generals Knyphausen, Percy, 
Cornwallis and Matthews commanding divisions. These 
repeated charges up the very steep ascents from the 
rear, and from the open face of the work northward, 
were very costly to the British and Hessian columns. 
When their forces first gained the interior lines, sur 
render, or rescue, was inevitable. To the demand for sur 
render Magaw replied with a request for five hours delay. 
A half hour only was granted. Magaw received a billet 
from Washington stating that if he could hold out 
awhile, he would endeavor to bring off the garrison at 

A. first a/fart undrrGen lKny/thtijrnbv s^H illls, 
letatfimrntj from ffessians ofhij cor/is, Jjjwfc 
lhr.BrtffadeafJla.lft ana /liy<afWa{dei-H-jjff//[/ 

a. a. a. a. ffarractsartd 
forWinler Quarters nfjmeri 
^rmy &ur/ttd it/ton udi O/ife tif 


night ; but no delay was permitted, and the garrison sur 
rendered. It was for many years an unexplained fact, 
how the British troops appeared so suddenly at the open 
face of the fort, northward, below which was a deep 
ravine, itself almost a protection. But William Du- 
mont, Magaw s Adjutant, deserted, two weeks before the 
investment, and placed detailed drawings of all the de 
fences in the hands of General Howe. This fact affords 
the key to General Howe s otherwise very singular excuse 
to the British Government for not following Washington s 
army from AVhite Plains to North Castle Heights, 
" political reasons " having been assigned by General 
Howe, as "controlling his action." 

The British loss in the assault was one hundred and 
twenty-eight ; and that of the Hessian troops, three 
hundred and twenty-six. The American loss was one 
hundred and twenty, killed and wounded, and two thou 
sand six hundred and thirty-four, prisoners. The loss in 
cannon, tents, arms and military stores, was very severe. 

Fort Lee was of necessity abandoned, its powder and 
principal supplies being first removed in safety. 

The first New Jersey campaign immediately ensued. 



HISTORICAL accuracy must recognize the First 
Campaign of Washington in New Jersey, as a 
masterly conduct of operations toward American Independ 
ence. The loss of Fort Washington has been a frequent 
topic of discussion, as if its retention or loss had deter 
mining value. As already indicated by Washington s 
letters, there was no substantial benefit to be realized by 
the detachment of troops to retain it, so long as British 
ships controlled its water-front. Behind it was New 
England, which could furnish no base of American opera 
tions for a general war ; and yet, in order to prosecute the 
war to success, the American army must be established 
where it could harass and antagonize British operations 
at and out from New York. Fort Washington could do 


neither, but, so long as held, must drain resources which 
w r ere more valuable elsewhere. 

It has already been noticed, that Washington prepared 
New England for its own immediate defence ; and the 
assembling of supplies ordered was in anticipation of the 
campaign of 1777. The new system of enlistments, also, 
provided for five years of contingent service. The rapid 
organization of regiments at the South, and the authorized 
increase of the army, in excess of any possible British 
accessions from Europe, had induced the establishment of 
the Camp of Observation before alluded to, and indicated 
New Jersey as the essential centre of operations for all 



general military purposes. British operations from Can 
ada, or against the Southern Colonies, could be success 
fully met only by a closely related and compactly ordered 
base of operation and supply. 

It is therefore a misnomer to dwell with emphasis 
upon Washington s next movement, as simply a " masterly 
retreat/ The extracts, few out of many available, already 
cited, are declarations of a clearly defined strategic system, 
which would admit of no permanent failure so long as 
Congress and the American people completely filled the 
measure of his demands for men and money. 

A glance at the disposition of both armies is invited. 
All operations in the northern department were practically 
suspended with Carleton s withdrawal to Canada. But on 
the ninth of November, the official returns of that northern 
army showed a force of seven thousand three hundred and 
forty-live rank and tile, present for duty ; with three 
thousand nine hundred and sixty-one sick, present, and 
absent. Enlistments were to expire with the year, but 
weeks were to intervene. Lee s Grand Division, at North 
Castle Heights, at date of the loss of Fort Washington, 
and as late as November, reported rt seven thousand eight 
hundred and twenty-four of effective rank and file, present 
for duty and on command." Enlistments here, also, were 
near their limit : but Lee ultimately crossed into New 
Jersey with thirty-four hundred effective troops. Wash 
ington had the right to expect, and did expect, that this 
force was available upon call. The division of General 
Heath, commanding upon the Hudson, with headquarters 
at Fishkill, numbered, on November twenty-fourth, five 
thousand four hundred and ten men for duty. Leaving 
to the governors of New England and New York the 
responsibility of maintaining their quotas when enlist 
ments should expire, the time had come for American 
operations in the middle zone of military action. 


Cornwallis was detached from his immediate command 
and sent into New Jersey, with a strong force, to attack 
Washington. The American army abandoned the space 
between the Hackensack and Passaic rivers ; crossed the 
latter at Aquackonock on the twenty-first of November ; 
burned the bridge after a slight skirmish, and followed the 
right bank of the Passaic to Newark, reaching that city on 
the twenty-third. At this point, a muster of the army 
was ordered by Washington, and five thousand four hun 
dred and ten reported for duty. New Brunswick was 
reached on the twenty-ninth. Here another skirmish 
with the army of Cornwallis took place. But Cornwallis 
halted his command under orders of Howe to " proceed 
no further than New Brunswick." 

Washington moved on to Princeton, and then to Tren 
ton, where he arrived on the third day of December. 
He immediately gathered from Philadelphia all available 
boats, and for a stretch of seventy miles cleared both 
banks of the Delaware River of everything that could 
float, and took them into his own charge. 

The reader should appreciate that these movements 
were not in the original design of the American Com- 
mander-in-Chief. He would have made a stand at both 
Hackensack and New Brunswick, if Lee s Division, con 
fidently expected, had joined him as ordered ; and at 
least, the enemy s progress would have been retarded. 

Having left the Delaware regiment and five Virginia 
regiments at Princeton, under Lord Stirling, he moved 
all heavy military stores behind the Delaware, and 
returned to Princeton. Meeting Lord Stirling, who was 
falling back before a superior force of the enemy, he re- 
crossed the Delaware at Trenton, established headquar 
ters, and fixed the base for future action. 

In writing to Congress on the fifth, he used this language : 
"As nothing but necessity obliged me to retire before 


the enemy and leave so much of New Jersey unprotected, 
I conceive it my duty, and it corresponds with my inclin 
ation, to make head against them so soon as there shall be 
the least probability of doing so with propriety." 

On the twelfth, he learned that General Lee had en 
tered New Jersey with his division. As early as Novem 
ber twenty-fifth, he had ordered General Schuyler to 
forward to him all Pennsylvania and New Jersey troops 
then in the Northern Department. 

A glance at the plans and movements of the British 
army is now of interest. Howe reported his move 
ments as follows : " My first design extended no further 
than to get, and keep possession of, East New Jersey. 
Lord Cornwallis had orders not to advance beyond 
Brunswick ; but, on the sixth, I joined his lordship with 
the Fourth Brigade of British, under General Grant. On 
the seventh, Cornwallis marched with his corps, except the 
Guards who were left at Brunswick, to Princeton, which 
the Americans had quitted the same day. He delayed 
seventeen hours at Princeton, and was an entire day in 
marching to Trenton. He arrived there, just as the rear 
guard of the enemy had crossed ; but they had taken the 
precaution to destroy, or secure to the south side, all the 
boats that could possibly have been employed for cross 
ing the river." 

Cornwallis remained at Pennington until the fourteenth, 
when the British army was placed in winter quarters ; 
rf the weather," says General Howe, "having become too 
severe to keep the field." 

On the previous day, the thirteenth, General Charles 
Lee, next in rank to Washington, while leisurely resting 
at a country house at Baskenridge, three miles from his 
troops, was taken prisoner by a British scouting detach 
ment. It may be of interest to the reader to be reminded, 
that this Major-Genejuat-^?emiired from Congress an 


advance of thirty thousand dollars, to enable him to trans 
fer his English property to America, before he accepted 
his commission, and was disappointed that he was made 
second, instead of first, in command. When captured, 
he was in company with Major Wilkinson, a messenger 
from his old Virginia friend, General Horatio Gates, who 
had just been ordered by Washington to accompany cer 
tain reinforcements from the northern army, to increase 
the force of the Commander-in-Chief. This Major Wil 
kinson escaped capture, but the British scouts used his 
horse for Lee s removal. On the table was a letter, not 
yet folded, which the messenger was to convey to General 
Gates. It reads as follows (omitting the expletives), - 

BASKENKIDGE, December 13, 1776. 

MY DEAR GATES: The ingenious manoeuvre of Fort Washington 
has completely unhinged the goodly fabrick we had been building. 

There never was so a stroke. Entre nous, a certain great 

man is deficient. He has thrown me into a position where I 

have my choice of difficulties. If I stay in the Province, I risk my 
self and my army ; and if I do not stay, the Province is lost forever. 
Our councils have been weak, to the last degree. As to 
what relates to yourself, if you think you can be in time to aid the 
general, I would have you, by all means, go. You will at least save 
your army. 

No comment is required, except to state that repeated 
orders had been received and acknowledged by Lee, to 
join Washington ; but he had determined not to join him, 
and to act independently with his division, regardless of 
the orders of his Commander-in-Chief, and of Congress. 
Two extracts only are admissible. Washington had 
reprimanded Lee for interfering with the independent 
command of General Heath, on the Hudson. On the 
twenty-sixth of November, Lee wrote to Heath : r<: The 
Commander-in-Chief is now separated from us. I, of 
course, command on this side the water ; for the future I 
will, and I must, be obeyed." On the twenty-third of 


November, in order to induce New England to trust 
him, and distrust, Washington, he wrote the following 
letter to James Bowdoin, President of the Massachusetts 
Council : 

Before the unfortunate affair at Fort Washington, it was my 
opinion, that the two armies, that on the east and that on the west 
side of the North River, must rest, each, on its own bottom; that the 
idea, of detaching and reenforcing from one side to the other, on 
every motion of the enemy, was chimerical ; but to harbor such a 
thought, in our present circumstances, is absolute insanity. . . . 
We must therefore depend upon ourselves. Should the enemy alter 
the present direction of their operation, I would never entertain the 
thought on being succored from the western army (that across 
the Hudson, with Washington). Affairs appear in so important :i 
crisis, that I think even the resolves of Congress must be no longer 
nicely weighed with us. There are times when we must commit 
treason against the laws of the State, for the salvation of the State. 
The present crisis demands this brave, virtuous kind of treason. 
For my part, and I flatter myself my way of thinking is congenial 
with that of Mr. Bowdoin, I will stake my head and reputation on 
the measure. 

James Bowdoin loved Massachusetts ; but no seltish or 
local considerations, such as were those of Lee, could 
impair his confidence in the wisdom and patriotism of the 
American Commander-in-Chief. 

The capture of Lee was thus mildly noticed by Wash 
ington : " It was by his own folly and imprudence, and 
without a view to effect any good, that he was taken." 

General Sullivan succeeded to the command of Lee s 
Division. Gates joined from the northern army, and on 
the twentieth of December, the Continental Army was re 
organized for active service. 


General Howe had returned to New York December 
20th. The British cantonments for the winter embraced 
Brunswick, Trenton, Burlington, Bordentown, and 
other places ; with the Hessian, Dpnop,, in_cqmniand at 
Bordentown, and Rahl at Trenton . 


The month had been one of great strain upon the 
American Commander-in-Chief. He was, practically, on 
trial. The next in command, who, by virtue of previous 
military training, largely commanded public confidence, 
had failed him, simply because Washington, with the 
modesty of a true aspirant for excellence in his profes 
sion, would not pass judgment, and enforce his own will, 
in disobedience of the will of Congress. But, by this 
time Congress itself began to realize that a deliberate 
civil body was not the best Commander-in-Chief for field 
service, and that it would have to trust the men who did 
the fighting. It adjourned on the twelfth of December, 
quite precipitately, but Resolved " That, until Congress 
shall otherwise order, General Washington be possessed 
of full power to order and direct all things relative to the 
department and to the operations of war." 

Repair of bridges below Trenton, by the British troops, 
led Washington jto suspect that some move might be 
made against Philadelphia, from the east side of the 
Delaware River. He therefore divided the entire river 
front into divisions under competent commanders, on the 
day of the adjournment of Congress. Light earth 
works were thrown up, opposite all ferries and places of 
easy landing, with small guards at frequent intervals ; 
and constant patrols were ordered to be in motion, 
promptly to report any suspicious signs of British ac 
tivity, or the movement of other persons than soldiers of 
the army. Points of rendezvous were also established, to 
resist any sudden attempt of persons to cross ; all boats 
were kept in good order, and under guard ; and rations for 
three days were distributed and required to be kept up 
to that standard, by night and by day. On the same day 
he promulged an order that affected Philadelphia itself; 
viz., "requiring all able-bodied men in the city, not 
conscientiously scrupulous as to bearing arms, to report 


at the State House yard the next day, with arms and 
equipments ; that all persons who have arms and accoutre 
ments, which they cannot, or do not mean to employ in 
defence of America, are hereby ordered to deliver the 
same to Mr. Robert Tower, who will pay for the same ; 
and that those who are convicted of secreting any arms, 
or accoutrements, will be severely punished." 

On the fourteenth, he also definitely resolved to " face 
about and meet the enemy," a purpose which only the 
conduct of General Lee had made impracticable before. 
He wrote to Governor Trumbull, General Gates, and 
General Heath, in confidence, of his purpose, " to take the 
offensive." To Congress, he wrote sternly, stating that 
" ten days will put an end to the existence of this army " ; 
adding: "This is not a time to stand upon expense. A 
character to lose ; an estate to forfeit ; the inestimable 
blessing of liberty at stake, and a life devoted, must be 
my excuse." 

At this juncture, Washington definitely resolved to 
establish his permanent base, as against New York ; and 
selected Morristown, which had already been made the 
rendezvous of the New Jersey troops. General Maxwell, 
who was familiar with the country, was assigned to the 
command of this new position. Three regiments from 
Ticonderoga were ordered to halt at the new post. On 
the twenty-third of December, Washington sent a confi 
dential communication to Adjutant-General Reed, then 
with General Cadwallader, in which he designated 
"Christmas night, an hour before day, as the time fixed 
for an attack upon Trenton." Reed had fully shared in 
the desire for active, offensive duty, and in one letter thus 
concurred in the Commander-in-Chief s opinion, that " to 
repossess ourselves of Xew Jersey, or any part of it, 
would have more effect than if we had never left it." 
The purpose of Washington was so to combine tlie 


movements of various divisions, including one under 
Putnam from Philadelphia, as practically to clear the 
east bank of the Delaware of all Hessian o-arrisons. 

_ ^ _ , ._ . . O 

Putnam feared that the Tory element would rise during 
his absence, and that order Avas suspended. The right 
wing, under Cadwallader, was to cross at Bristol (see 
map) ; but owing to ice, which prevented the landing of 
artijlery^jie returned to Bristol, and reported to Wash 
ington. After expressing regret over his failure, he thus 
closes : " I imagine the badness of the night must have 
prevented you from passing over as you intended." 
Ewing was to cross over just below Trenton, to intercept 
any reinforcements that might approach the garrison 
from Bordentown ; but .the. violence of the storm pre 
vented that movement also. Washington took chanre 

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of the left wing, consisting of twenty-four hundred men, 
which was to cross at McConkey s Ferry, nine miles 
above Trenton, accompanied by Sullivan and Greene as 
division commanders. When preparations were com 
plete, and Washington in his saddle, Major Wilkinson, of 
the staff of Gates, notified him that General Gates had 
gone to Baltimore to visit Congress. This was a delib 
erate "absence, without leave," at an hour when he knew, 
and in advance, that Washington intended to force a 
battle ; but Stark, of Breed s Hill, was there. Glover, 
the man of Marblehead and hero of the Long Island 
retreat, was there ; and William Washington, and James 
Monroe, were there ! 

The Hessian garrison of fifteen hundred and forty men 
had enjoyed a right " merry Christmas," after the style 
of their own r old country " fashion ; and the night, in 
clement without, was bright within, as dance and song 
with every cheery accompaniment dispelled thoughts of 
watchfulness of ice-bound Delaware and driving tempest. 
It was indeed a night for within-door relish, and the 

[From Dael s painting.] 


season of the year was most conducive to the abandon 
ment of all care nd worry. " Toasts were drank " with 
gleesome delight ; and the hilarity of the happy Hessian 
soldiers, officers and men, only ceased when the worn-out 
night compelled them to seek relief in rest. The garri 
son were sleeping as soundly when the stormy morning 
broke into day, as if they had compassed a hard day s 
march during the night hours. The usual detail for 

O T> 

guard was distributed, but no other sign of life appeared 
on the streets of Trenton. Before Colonel Rahl s head- 
quarters, two guns, stationed there more as a recognition 
of his commanding position than for use, were partly 
buried in SIIOAV. A battery of four guns was in open 
ground, not far from the Friends Meeting-house ; but 
neither earthworks nor other defences had been deemed 
essential to the security of the British winter quarters. 

General Grant had indeed written from Brunswick on 
the twenty-fourth : " It is perfectly certain there are no 
more rebel troops in New Jersey ; they only send over 
small parties of twenty or thirty men. On last Sunday, 
Washington told his assembled generals that the British 
are weak at Trenton and Princeton. I wish the Hessians 
to be on guard against sudden attack ; but, at the same time, 
I give my opinion that nothing of the kind will be under 
taken." General Grant did, it would seem, compliment 
Washington s sagacity, without comprehending his will 
power to realize in action every positive conviction of 
possible duty. And so it was, that the garrison of Tren 
ton on that Christmas night slept at ease, until morning 
dawned and Washington paid his unexpected visit. 

Under cover of high ground, just back of McConkey s 
Ferry, on Christmas afternoon, 1776, Washington held a 
special evening parade. Neither driving wind nor be 
numbing cold prevented full ranks and prompt response 
to ff roll-call," as company after company fell into line ; 


and when darkness obscured the closing day, all was in 
motion. It had been his design to complete the crossing 
by midnight, and enter Trenton at five o clock in the 
morning. He was to lead, in person, and announced 
as the countersign, "Victory or Death! " The order to 
march to the river bank, by divisions and sub-divisions, 
each to its designated group of boats, was communicated 
by officers especially selected for that duty, so that the 
most perfect order attended each movement. The few 
days of mild weather which had opened the ice, had been 
succeeded by a sudden freeze, and a tempest of hail and 
sleet that checked the swift current and made a safe pas 
sage of daring and doubtful venture. The shore was 
skirted with ice, while the floating blocks of old ice 
twisted and twirled the fragile boats as mere playthings 
in their way. But no one grumbled at cold, sleet or 
danger. The elements were not the patriot s foe that 
night of nights. All faces were set against their 

o O o 

country s foes. They were, at last, to pursue their old 
pursuers. The " man of retreats," as Washington had 
been called in derision by such men as Gates and Lee, 
was ffuidinff, and leading to "Victory or Death ! 

O C? O / 

The landing of the artillery was not effected until three 
o clock in the morning, with nearly nine miles yet to 
march. At four o clock the advance was ordered. The 
snow ceased, but the hail and sleet returned, driven by a 
fierce wind from the north-east. A mile and a quarter 
brought them to Bear Tavern (see map). Three and a 
half miles more brought them to Birmingham. Here a 
messenger _from General Sullivan informed Washington 
that his men reported "their arms to be wet." * Tell 
your general," replied Washington, "to use the bayonet, 
and penetrate into the town. The town must be taken. 
I am resolved to take it." 

From this point Sullivan took the river road. Washing- 


ton and Greene, bearing to the left, crossed to the old 
Scotch road, and then entered the Pennington road, only 
one mile from Trenton. The distance by each road was 
aTxmt the same, four and one-half miles. Washington 
moved at once to the head of King and Queen streets, 
where they joined at a sharp angle ; and here, under 
direction of General Knox, Forrest s Battery was placed 
in position, to sweep both streets, even down to the river. 
ff Tt was exactly eight o clock," says Washington, " and 
three minutes after, I found from the firing on the lower 
road that that division had also got up." The en 
tire movement was with the utmost silence, to enable 
Sullivan and Stark to pass through the lower town and 
take the Hessians in the rear and by surprise. 

The battle was over in an hour. The Hessian troops 
burst from their quarters, half dressed, but in the narrow 
streets already swept by Forrest s guns, any regular for 
mation was impossible. The two guns before Rahl s 
headquarters were manned ; but before they could deliver 
a single round Capt. William Washington and Lieut. 
James Monroe (subsequently President Monroe), with a 
small party, rushed upon the gunners and hauled the 
guns away for use elsewhere. Sullivan had entered the 
town by Front and Second streets. Stark led his column 
directly to the Assanpink Bridge, to cut off retreat to Bor- 
dentown ; and then swung to the left, and attacked the 
Hessians, who were gallantly attempting to form in the 
open ground between Queen Street and the Assanpink. 
Hand s Rifles and Scott s and Lawson s Virginia regi 
ments were conspicuous for gallantry. All did well. 

The American casualties were two killed and three 
wounded, Captain Washington and Lieutenant Monroe 
being among the latter. The Hessian loss in killed and 
wounded, besides officers, was forty-one. The number 
of prisoners, including thirty officers, was one thousand 


and nine. Colonel Rahl fell, mortally wounded, while 
using his bravest energies to rally his men for an attack 
on Washington s position at the head of King Street ; but 
the surprise was so complete, and the cooperation of the 
American divisions was so timely and constant, that no 
troops in the world could have resisted the assault. Six 
bronze guns, over a thousand stand of arms, four sets 
of colors, twelve drums, and many valuable supplies were 
among the trophies of war. 

The American army countermarched during the night 
after the battle, reaching the old headquarters at Xewtown 
with their prisoners before morning ; having made the 
entire distance of fully thirty miles under circumstances 
of such extreme hardship and exposure, that more than 
one thousand men were disabled for duty through frozen 
limbs and broken-down energies. 

The Hessian troops were proudly escorted through 
Philadelphia, and the country began to realize the value 
of a Soldier in command. Fugitives from Trenton reached 
Bordentown, where Colonel Donop had already been 
so closely pressed by Colonel Griffiths in an adventurous 
skirmish, as to require the services of his entire garrison 
to meet it. He abandoned Bordentown instantly, leaving 
the sick and wounded, and the public stores ; marched 
with all haste to Princeton, via Crosswicks and Allen- 
town, and started the next day for South Amboy, the 
nearest port to New York. 

On the twenty-seventh, Cadwallader crossed at Bristol 
with eighteen hundred men, not knowing that Washing 
ton had recrossed the Delaware. Generals Miinin and 
Ewing followed w r ith thirteen hundred men ; but Mt. 
Holly and Black Horse had also been abandoned by the 
Hessian garrisons. 

While the American army rested, its Commander-in- 
Chief matured his plans for further offensive action. A 


letter from Colonel De Hart, at Morristown, advised him 
that the regiments of Greaton, Bond, and Porter would 
extend their term of service two weeks. The British 
post at Boundbrook and vicinity had been withdrawn to 
Brunswick. Generals McDougall and Maxwell, then at 
Morristown, were instructed by Washington rt to collect 
as large a body of militia as possible, and to assure them, 
that nothing is wanting but for them to lend a hand, and 
drive the enemy from the whole Province of New Jersey." 
On the twenty-eighth, he wrote thus to Maxwell : "As I 
ani about to enter the Jerseys with a considerable force, 
immediately, for the purpose of attempting a recovery of 
that country from the enemy ; and as a diversion from 
your quarter may greatly facilitate this event, by dividing 
and distracting their troops, I must request that you will 
collect all the forces in your power, and annoy and dis 
tress them by every means which prudence may suggest." 

To General Heath, he wrote : fr I would have you ad 
vance as rapidly as the season will permit, with the 
eastern militia, by the way of the Hackensack, and pro 
ceed downwards until you hear from me. I think a fair 
opportunity is offered of driving the enemy entirely 
from, or, at least to the extremity of New Jersey." 

On the thirtieth, having again crossed to Trenton, 
Washington was able to announce that " the eastern Con 
tinental troops had agreed to remain six weeks longer, 
upon receipt of a bounty of ten dollars ; and the services 
of eminent citizens were enlisted in an effort to use the 
success at Trenton, as a stimulus to recruiting," and, "to 
hasten the concentration of the militia." Washington 


intensely realized that in a few weeks, at furthest, he was 
to begin again the instruction of a new army ; and deter 
mined to get the largest possible benefits from the presence 
of four thousand veterans who had consented to remain 
for a short period beyond their exact term of enlistment. 


On the twenty-seventh of December, Congress clothed 
Washington with full dictatorial authority in the matter of 
raising troops, and in all that pertained to the conduct of 
the war, for the period of six months ; reciting as the 
foundation of such action, that affairs were in such a 
condition that the very existence of civil liberty depended 
upon the right exercise of military powers ; and, " the 
vigorous, decisive conduct of these being impossible in 
distant, numerous, and deliberative bodies, it was con 
fident of the wisdom, vigor, and uprightness of George 

It was under the burden of this vast responsibility that 
Washington rested, when he closed the year 1776 in camp 
near Trenton. He responded to this confidence on the 
part of the Continental Congress, in this simple manner : 
" Instead of thinking myself freed from all civil obliga 
tion, I shall immediately bear in mind that as the sword 
was the last resort for the preservation of our liberty, so 
it ought to be the first thing laid aside, when those liberties 
are finally established. I shall instantly set about making 
the most necessary reforms in the army." 

Thus rapidly, in as natural and orderly sequence as 
seemed desirable, omitting incidents, correspondence, and 
names of persons that do not seem essential in the illustra 
tion of qualities which attach to the career of Washington 
as a Soldier, the reader is brought to the midnight hour of 
December 31, 1776. 

All his struggles in camp, in field, on the march, have 
closed with one tremendous blow struck at British prestige 
and British power. The greatest soldiers and statesmen 
of that period recognized its significance, and rendered 
unstinted praise to the " wisdom, constancy, and intre 
pidity of the American Commander-in-Chief." 

But, at that midnight hour, the Soldier who had been 
the kind and faithful guardian of the humblest men in the 


ranks, as well as the example and instructor of the proudest 
veteran, waited with swelling breast and aching heart for 
the morning s dawn ; realizing the solemnity of its certain 
ordeal, when the organization of a new army, and more 
herculean efforts of the British crown, were to test not 
only his own capacity and will, but test the readiness and 
fitness of the American people to rise to the emergencies 
of one supreme issue " Victory or Death ! " 




WASHINGTON S surprise of the garrison of Tren 
ton, equally surprised General Howe at New 
York ; and he made immediate requisition for twenty 
thousand additional troops. His last previous requisition 
for foreign auxiliaries met with little favor on the Conti 
nent, and only thirty-six hundred men were secured for 
service, both in Canada and other American Colonies. 
In the meantime, Clinton made no demonstration from 
Newport ; and Massachusetts had recovered from the tem 
porary effect of his occupation of that post. Under the 
impulse of the success at Trenton, new foundries were 
established; and systematic effort was made to secure a 
complete artillery outfit for the army, on the new basis of 
eighty-eight battalions. 

But on the first day of January, 1777, the Commander- 
in-Chief did not pause in the use of the means just at 
hand. He realized that General Howe could not afford 
to remain passive under the new conditions which his own 
offensive movement had imposed upon the British army. 
Lord Cornwallis, on the eve of returning to England, 
was at once sent with a strong division to reoccupy 
Trenton. But Washington, instead of retaining his 
former position on the west bank of the Delaware, estab 
lished himself behind the small river Assanpink, which 
enters the Delaware just south of Trenton, on the New 



Jersey side. It was a bold act. Below him, toward Phila 
delphia, were the forces of Cadwallader and Mimin ; and 
these he ordered to his support. Their arrival, thirty- 
six hundred strong, on the morning of January second, 
increased his command to about five thousand men. This 
little Assanpink River, swollen by the melted snow, was 
impassable except by a bridge near its junction with the 
Delaware. Along its steep and wooded banks, the 
American army was distributed for a distance of two 
miles. Watchful guards and several pieces of artillery 
were stationed at every available fording-place, and these 
were supported by some of the most reliable Continental 
troops. Behind the first line, and on a little higher 
ground, a second line was established. 

In order to secure ample w r arning of the arrival of the 
enemy and delay their approach, Washington established 
several small posts along the road to Princeton. The 
first, about a mile advanced, occupied rising ground well 
flanked by w r oods and supported by two pieces of artil 
lery. Colonel Hand s Rifles were pushed forward as far as 
Five Mile Creek; and even, off the road, a small support 
ing party held a defensive position at Shebakonk Creek, 
where heavy timber and broken ground afforded a good 
position for skirmishers to annoy an advancing force. 
General Greene was placed in command of these out 
posts. (See map.) 

So many writers have worried themselves and their 
readers in dealing with Washington s movements during 
the first week in January, 1777, as so many revolutions 
of a lottery wheel of chance in which he was remarkably 
lucky, that it is desirable to understand his own plans, and 
how far he anticipated the contingencies which actually 
happened. His mind not only grasped possibilities which 
aroused confidence, at home and abroad ; but embraced 
strategic conceptions which affected the entire war. 


The Delaware was still filled with floating ice. Large 
masses were banked within its curves, so that retreat 
across the river, in the presence of a powerful adversary, 
would be impracticable. And yet, he had not hesitated 
to take position at Trenton, on the east bank of the river. 
To have remained on the west bank would have made it 
impossible for him to prevent Cornwallis from passing 
down the east bank to Philadelphia, or at least from driv 
ing both Cadwallader and Mifflin to that city, in disorder. 
To have retired his own army to Philadelphia, would have 
been the abandonment of New Jersey, and of all the pres 
tige of his exploit on Christmas night. He resolved to 
save his army ; and leave Philadelphia to the contingencies 
of the campaign. If compelled to fight, he would choose 
the ground ; but he did not intend to fight under condi 
tions that would force him to abandon the aggressive cam 
paign which he had planned. During December, he had 
secured a careful reconnoissance of the roads to Brunswick, 
had learned the strength of its garrison, and formed an 
estimate of the value of the large magazines which Gen 
eral Howe had located at that post. He believed that a 
quick dash would secure their destruction or capture. 

While awaiting the advance of Cornwallis, he called a 
council of officers, and this bold strategic movement was 
fully indorsed by them. But no time was to be lost. 
The initiative must be taken before the armies were 
brought to a deadly struggle for the very ground already 
occupied by his camp. Battle must be deferred until 
another day. The baggage-wagons which accompanied 
the commands of Cadwallader and Mifflin, now parked in 
the rear of the army, were moved to its extreme right, 
toward Princeton, and the army waited. 

Washington visited the advance posts, where Greene 
was on the alert, and being advised by him that he could 
keep Cornwallis back until late in the afternoon, or until 


night, returned to headquarters. The advance of Corn- 
wallis was so successively annoyed by the outposts, that 
he halted until additional regiments joined him. Greene 
opened fire with his two guns, under orders from Wash 
ington to " so check the enemy as to prevent battle until 
the next day " ; and Cornwallis again came to a halt. 
He knew that the Delaware River was behind Washing- 


ton, and felt sure of his prey. Already the British had 
made a tiresome march ; and at this second halt, orders 
were sent back to Princeton to bring up a part of the 
force left at that place. Cornwallis had not been neglect 
ful of his flanks, however, but sent skirmishers along the 
Assanpink, and even threw both shot and shell into the 
woods in the direction of the American lines. 

When the day closed, and Cornwallis encamped on the 
north bank of the Assanpink, his pickets could see the 
Americans at work throwing up intrenchments behind 
the bridge, and at one point further up the stream. All 
along the American lines immense camp-fires burned, and 
these were abundantly replenished, during the night, by 
fence-rails from the country near by. The British and 
Hessians also maintained their camp-fires. A sudden 
freeze made these fires comfortable. It also hardened 
the ground, so that the American artillery and baggage- 
wagons could move more readily than on the previous 

Washington hurried a messenger to General Putnam, 
at Philadelphia, advising him of his proposed movement, 
and instructing him to send troops to occupy Crosswicks, 
a short distance above Bordentown, and thus take charge 
of some baggage which has been sent in that direction. 
All this time, the army, except its wide-awake and con 
spicuous sentries at the bridge, and its active fire-builders 
along the Assanpink, was on the march for Princeton. 
When the vanguard reached Stony Brook, Washington 


re-formed his columns, and sent General Mercer, who had 
served with him in the Indian War of 1756-66, to the left, 
by the Quaker Road, intending to advance with the main 
army directly to the village, by a lower road, under cover 
of rising ground, and thus expedite his march upon 
Brunswick, now weakened in its garrison by the presence 
of Cornwallis at Trenton. But General Mercer s small 
command was suddenly confronted by a part of Colonel 
Mawhood s British regiment hastening to reenforce Corn- 
wallis. This precipitated the action, known as the " Bat 
tle of Princeton." As soon as firing was heard, Wash 
ington hastened to the scene and took part in the fight. 
A British bayonet-charge was too much for the American 
advance guard. The officers in vain attempted to rally 
the men. Washington at once appreciated the ruin that 
would result from protracted battle ; and, as at Kipp s 
Bay, dashed into the thickest of the fight, and with 
bared head urged the men to rally. He passed directly 
across the fire of the British troops, and the Americans 
responded to his appeal. Stirling, St. Clair, Patterson 
and others promptly brought their troops into action ; cut 
off the retreat of a portion of the enemy to Princeton, 
and fought them again, just south of Nassau Hall, Prince 
ton College. 

The short action was costly in precious lives. Colonel 
Haslet and General Mercer both fell, while endeavoring 
to rally their men, and the total American loss was about 
one hundred. The British loss was more than one hun 
dred, besides two hundred and twenty prisoners. The 
part taken by Washington in the action requires no 
further details of its incidents than its result. But the 
day was not over. At early dawn, at Trenton, the " All s 
well ! " which had been echoed across the little Assanpink 
and along its banks the night before, ceased. The fires 
still crackled and blazed with fresh wood added to the 


glowing coals ; but no pacing sentry, nor picketed horses, 
nor open-mouthed cannon were in view from the British 
outposts. And yet, the sullen boom of cannon far in their 
rear, from the direction of Princeton, caught the quick 
ear of Gen. Sir William Erskine. In an instant he was 
in the presence of Cornwallis, with the sharp cry, " Wash 
ington has escaped us ! " The beat " To arms ! " was im 
mediate. There was no time even to pack supplies already 
unloaded for battle. The troops were resting, after hard 
marching at the dead of winter, but the presence of 
Washington s army at the head of King Street would not 
have more thoroughly awakened them to duty. The dis 
tance was only ten miles ; while Washington, by his 
circuit, had marched sixteen miles. But every moment 
of delay imperilled their great magazines of supply for 
the whole winter at Brunswick. All that had been stored 
in the Trenton depot passed into Washington s possession 
on Christmas night. They brought with them, the day 
before, only sufficient for a short morning s capture of 
their American adversary. Battalions marched toward 
Trenton singly, as formed ; artillery following so soon as 

The British vanguard reached Stony Brook just as 
the Americans disappeared up the road, after destruction 
of the bridge. Cornwallis halted, to bring up artillery. 
Washington, however, had already reached Kingston, 
three miles beyond Princeton, and had crossed Millstone 
River. Here, a council was held as to future action. 
British fugitives in the direction of Brunswick had, most 
assuredly, warned the garrison of its danger. At this 
moment, the sound of cannon at Stony Brook showed 
that Cornwallis was pressing forward with despatch. 
The rear-guard left at Stony Brook was not yet in sight ; 
but the entire army was put in marching order, and 
General Greene led the advance up the Millstone. As 


soon as the rear-guard joined, the British not appearing, 
the bridge was destroyed, and the army moved through 
woods, thickets, and improvised openings, under the lead 
of well-posted scouts, for the hilly country to the north 
ward. When Cornwallis reached the Millstone, he had 
another bridge to build. A few horsemen toward Bruns 
wick were all that indicated the presence or whereabouts 
of Washington s army. He pushed his men by a forced 
march, to save Brunswick, and fight Washington. He 
did indeed save Brunswick ; but Washington and his army 
were resting in a strong position near Pluckemin, beyond 
his reach. 

The American soldiers were foot-sore, unshod, Aveary 
and hungry. There had not been time to distribute 
rations, after breaking camp at Trenton. More than one- 
half of the troops had only just arrived with Cadwallader 
from Bordentown, when the niofht march be^an. The 

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imagination falters and cannot conceive the experiences 
of these faithful men, so many of whom instead of return 
ing immediately home after New Year s day, were volun 
tarily serving beyond their enlistment, at the simple 
request of their heroic Commander-in-Chief. 

On the fifth of January, Washington sent his report to 
Congress, and despatches to others elsewhere in com 
mand. Two of these despatches are to be noticed. He 
ordered Putnam, then at Philadelphia : " Give out your 
strength twice as great as it is. Keep out spies. Put 
horsemen in the dress of the country, and keep them 
going backwards and forwards for that purpose. Act 
Avith great circumspection, so as not to meet with a 
surprise." He ordered General Heath, then on the 
Hudson, "to collect boats, for the contingency of the 
detail of a part of his forces to New Jersey" ; and also 
instructed him, that "it had been determined in council 
that he should move down toward New York with a con- 


siderable force, as if with a sudden design upon that 

On the seventh of January, the American army reached 
Morristown ; where huts were erected and the Headquarters 
of the Continental Army of the United States were estab 
lished. That army was resting, and working ; working, 
and resting, but its Commandcr-in-Chief knew no rest. 
On the same day, additional orders were issued to Gen 
eral Heath ; to General Lincoln, who had reached Peeks- 
kill with four thousand Xew England militia ; and to 
other officers, north and south, in anticipation of ulterior 
movements through every probable field of the rapidly 
expanding war. This was also the first occasion for 
Washington s exercise of the high prerogative conferred 
by Congress, full control of all military operations 
without consultation with that body. 

Washington could reprimand, when necessary ; while 
always prompt to commend, when commendation Avas 
both deserved and timely. Heath was before Fort Inde 
pendence on the eighteenth day of January. General 
Lincoln advanced by the Hudson River road ; General 
Scott by White Plains ; and Generals Wooster and 
Parsons, from New Rochelle and Westchester. A few 
prisoners were taken at Valentine s Hill. General Heath, 
with grave dignity, announced to the Hessian garrison of 
two thousand men that he would allow them "twenty 
minutes in which to surrender," or they must " abide the 
consequences." Twenty minutes, thirty minutes, and 
gradually, ten days elapsed. This large American force, 
half-organized, as they were without barracks, in mid 
winter, under conditions of terrible exposure endured it 
all, without flinching, and hardest of all, unrelieved by 
fighting. Suddenly, the Hessians made a sortie upon 
the advanced regiment, and the whole army was retired. 
Its fighting pluck had been frittered away. The com- 


bined divisions had arrived with admirable concert of 
time. The plan was well-conceived and well-initiated ; 
but failed, because a soldier was not in immediate com 
mand. As a demonstration toward New York, it did 
affect Howe s movements, and compelled him to keep his 
forces well in hand ; but its chief purpose was not realized. 

On the third day of February, the American Com- 
mander-in-Chief again wrote to General Heath, as fol 
lows : " This letter is additional to my public one of this 
date. It is, to hint to you, and I do it with concern, that 
your conduct is censured, and by men of sense and judg 
ment who have been with you in the expedition to Fort 
Independence, as being fraught with too much caution ; 
by which the army has been disappointed and in some 
degree disgraced. Your summons, as you did not 
attempt to fulfil your threats, was not only idle, but far 
cical, and will not fail of turning the laugh exceedingly 
upon us." 

During the winter and spring, the skirmishes were fre 
quent, and often with benefit to the American troops. 
They began to acquire confidence, and the conviction that, 
man for man, on fair terms, they were a match for either 
British or Hessians, and did not care which invited a 
fight. Washington issued a counter-proclamation to that 
which Howe promulged when the American army ad 
vanced into New Jersey ; and then, all offensive opera 
tions of the British army came to a sudden halt. 

The eminently impartial Italian historian, Botta, thus 
sums up his description of this offensive movement : 

"Washington, having received a few fresh battalions, 
and his little army having recovered from their fatigue, 
soon entered the field anew, and scoured the whole country 
as far as the Raritan. He even crossed the river and entered 
the county of Essex ; made himself master of Newark, of 
Elizabethtown, and finally of Woodbridge ; so that he 


commanded the entire coast of New Jersey in front of 
Staten .Island. 

" He so judiciously selected his positions, and fortified 
them so formidably, that the royalists shrunk from all 
attempts to dislodge him from any of them." . 
" But the British army, after having overrun, victoriously, 
the State of New Jersey quite to the Delaware, and caused 
even the City of Philadelphia to tremble for its safety, 
found itself now restricted to the only posts of Brunswick 
and Amboy, which, moreover, could have no communica 
tion with New York, except by sea. 

"Thus, by an army almost reduced to extremity, Phila 
delphia was saved ; Pennsylvania protected ; New Jersey 
nearly recovered ; and a victorious army laid under the 
necessity of quitting all thoughts of acting offensively, in 
order to defend itself." 




THE narrative of Washington s career as a Soldier, up 
to the time when he foiled the best efforts of Howe 
and Cornwallis to capture his weary band of Continentals 
and militia, has been a continuous story of love of country 
and devotion to her brave defenders. The most assidu 
ous care for their discipline, their health, their moral de 
portment, and their loyalty to duty, has been the burden 
of his soul. Pleading, remonstrance, and even reprimand, 
however earnest and pungent, have never worn a selfish 
garb, nor breathed of arrogance or fitful temper. Pre 
sumptuous denunciations by his chief antagonist have 
never impaired the dignity of his carriage, his felicity of 
utterance, nor the serenity of his faith. 

The indiscretions of his subordinates, their jealousies, 
and their weaknesses, have been so condoned, or accom 
modated to the eventful hours of camp or field service, 
that while he rests in camp, during the opening week of 
the second year of battling with the might of Britain, he 
has in mind, only words of thanksgiving for mercies real 
ized, and a bold challenge to the American Congress and 
the American people for men and means whereby to make 
their sublime Declaration of Independence a realized fact. 

And yet, never before has there gathered about his 
pathway such ominous mutterings of a threatening tem 
pest. It is no longer the spectacle of a half-organized 



army parrying the strokes of a compact enemy, well 
equipped for war. He has halted, faced the foe, and as 
sumed the aggressive. Washington has been fencing. 
His first lunge in return draws blood. He will fight to 
the finish. 

Already, he understands that his first New Jersey cam 
paign indicates the real field of endeavor in which the 
fate of his country is to be settled. Whatever may be in 
store of sacrifice, or battle, he must now plan for victory ; 
and to ensure its happy realization, he must so neutralize 
the domination of New York, that its occupation, whether 
by himself or Great Britain, will cease to be a controlling 
factor in the momentous struggle. 

Even the battle-issue is no longer to be with its strong 
garrison ; but from Lake Cham plain to Savannah, along 
the entire Atlantic coast, and wherever great cities or 
seaboard towns fight strongest for liberty, he is to be 
their standard-bearer ; and there the people are to bleed 
and triumph. Like Habib in the Arabian tale, when he 
drew from its scabbard the talismanic sword of Solomon, 
and there flashed upon the glittering steel the divine word 
"Power," so he had the faith to know that " the substance 
of things hoped for " was to be the trophy won. 

Thus far, the recital of marchings and fightings has 
proved his ability to command the confidence of his 
countrymen, of Congress, and of disinterested mankind. 
Hereafter, the details of battles must be relegated to 
fuller records ; and this account will be more closely 
restricted to the potential part borne by him in their con 
duct, general management, and improvement. 

A reference to the accompanying map will furnish a 
simple key to the progress of the War for American In 
dependence. Concentric circles about New York, as a 
radius point, indicate the immediate sweep of the British 
arm of offence. Similar circles about Morristown and 


Middlebrook indicate, that as a fortified centre this 
section, like the hub of a wheel, would endanger 
along its divergent spokes all operations out from New. 
Yprk as far up the Hudson River as West Point, and 
throughout the Province of New Jersey. It would 
compel Great Britain to maintain a permanent garrison 
of sufficient strength for all such excursions; and a cor 
respondingly large, half-idle fotfce for the protection of 
its own/ headquarters and its general depot of supplies. 
It was like a mountain peak for an observatory ; and 
such was the systematic organization of scouts, mes 
sengers and runners, in the confidence and pay of the 
American Commander-in-Chief, that almost daily infor 
mation was furnished him of the minutest occurrence 
in and about the British headquarters; and a regular 
Shipping List was supplied by competent spies, of 
every movement of British men-of-war, transports, and 
tenders, as far out as Sandy Hook. 

One of the most noteworthy facts connected witli the 
American civil conflict of 18Gl- 65, was the measure 
ment of generals on either side by knowledge of 
their antecedent education, qualities and characteristics. 
McClellan would have taken Vicksburg, as surely as did 
General Grant : the mathematics of a siege are irresist 
ible. But he never could have marched to the sea, as did 
Sherman, or swept like a tornado to the rear of Lee, as 
did Sheridan. It appears from the correspondence of 
Washington, that he carefully studied the antecedents 
and followed the operations of his chief antagonists ; that 
in several of the most critical periods of the war he antic 
ipated their plans as fully as if he had shared their con 
fidence in advance. But he did not merely interpret the 
lessons of campaigns as objectives for his own action. 
He penetrated the secret chambers of Howe s brain. He 
cross-examined himself: "If I were: in Howe s place 


what would I do? " "In his own place, what will Howe 
do? " " What must the British Ministry do, to conquer 
America in the way of ships, men, and money?" "Can 
they do it?" "Can they risk their West India Colonies, 
by the diversion of adequate means to conquer America? " 
The expectancies of aid from France , partly realized through 
the purchase of arms and munitions of war as early as 
1776, were never out of his thought. To maintain one 
central army intact, and wear out his adversary, was the 
pivot on which hinged American destiny. In the hills of 
New Jersey he worked this problem to its solution. 

Washington remained at the Morristown headquarters 
until the twenty-fourth of May. 

On the twenty-first day of January, Howe withdrew 
two thousand troops from Newport, R.I., to reenforce 
the garrison of New York. Generals Spencer and 
Arnold, then at Providence, R.I., with about four thou 
sand troops, were ordered by Washington, whenever 
practicable, to attempt the capture of Newport ; but they 
regarded their force as inadequate for the purpose. Gen 
eral Parsons, then upon recruiting service in Connecticut, 
was also instructed to make a descent upon Long Island : 
but his force was hardly equal to the movement, for want 
of suitable boats. All these external signs of American 
watchfulness and activity were as nettles to irritate the 
British Commander-in-Chief, while he sat, powerless, in 
his sumptuous headquarters at New York. 

Knox was sent by Washington to Massachusetts to en 
list a battalion of artillery, and during his trip mentioned 
Springfield. as the proper site for the establishment of a 
laboratory and gun-factory. General Schuyler, of the 
northern army, was instructed to draw from New England 
the entire force required to resist the anticipated advance 
of Carleton from Canada. Washington assigned as a 

o o 

special reason for this limitation, that "troops of extreme 


sections could not be favorably combined." Besides this, 
he proportionately relieved New England from sending 
troops of her own from her borders, which would be most 
exposed in case the invasion from Canada materialized. 
General Maxwell was stationed at Elizabethtown to watch 
tories and the movements of the British. Orders were 
issued repressing plundering done by the militia, of which 
complaint had been made. Similar outrages had been 
perpetrated by British and Hessian troops in the vicinity 
of New York ; and Washington followed up his .own ideas 
of civilized warfare, by sending to General Howe a pro 
test, and a demand for similar remedial action on his 

At this period, a correspondence occurred as to the 
position of General Charles Lee, then a prisoner of war 
in General Howe s custody. It was for a time quite in 
doubt whether Lee would be treated as a prisoner of war, 
or be shot as a deserter from the British , army. The 
pledge of Washington, that he would hang an officer of 
equal rank if Lee were executed, ultimately secured 
Lee s exchange. 

During the month of March, a ship from France landed 
at Portsmouth, N.H., another invoice of military sup 
plies ; and a second soon after reached Philadelphia with 
a large cargo. These timely accessions of material of 
war amounted to twenty-three thousand fusees, one thou 
sand barrels of powder, and blankets and other stores. 

On the second of March, Washington communicated 
to Robert Morris, of Philadelphia, some of his personal 
studies of General Howe and his plans. The following 
are pertinent extracts : 

" General Howe cannot, by the best intelligence I have 
been able to get, have less than ten thousand men in New 
Jersey, and on board of transports at Amboy. Our 
number does not exceed four thousand. His are well- 


disciplined, well-officered and well-supplied ; ours, raw 
militia, badly officered and under no government. His 
numbers cannot be, in short time, augmented ; ours must 
be, very considerably, and by such troops as we can have 
some reliance on, or the game is at an end. His situation 
as to horses and forage is bad, very bad ; but will it be 
better? No, on the contrary, worse ; and therefore, if for 
no other, to shift quarters. General Howe s informants 
are too numerous, and too well acquainted, to suffer, him 
to remain in ignorance of them. With what propriety, 
then, can he miss so favorable an opportunity of striking 
a capital stroke against a city from which we draw so 
many advantages, the carrying of which would give such 
eclat to his arms, and strike such a damp to ours. Nor 
is his difficulty of moving so great as is imagined. All the 
heavy baggage of the army, their salt provisions, flour 
and stores, might go round by water, while their superior 
numbers would enable them to make a sweep of the 
horses for many miles around them, not already taken off 
by us." 

The separate movements suggested by Washington, 
some of which have been referred to, indicated his pur 
pose to keep officers in the field wherever there promised 
opportunity for aggressive action, while at the same time 
enuring the militia to active field service. 


Although Congress had granted the Commander-in-Chief 

O O O 

full powers for the conduct of the war, it did assert its 
general prerogatives very freely in the matter of promo 
tions and appointments without consulting him. Ambi 
tion for rapid promotion and honorable commands was as 
conspicuous then as since. The promotions made during 
the month of March were a source of much jealousy 
and bitter conflict. Among the new Major-Generals, much 
to Washington s disgust, the name of Arnold was omitted. 
General Wooster was at home in command of the Con- 


necticut militia, having resigned his commission in the 
regular service. Gen. George Clinton was assigned to 

o o o 

command the forts in the Highlands ; and General Mc- 
Doujjall succeeded General Heath at Peekskill. General 


Sullivan considered these details as so many independent 
commands ; and fretted over it so constantly and freely, 
that Washington administered a rebuke which illustrates 
the directness and frankness with which he handled such 
provoking interruptions of the domestic harmony of the 
army. He writes as follows : ff Why these unreasonable 
and unjustifiable suspicions, which can answer no other 
end than to poison your own happiness and add vexation 
to that of others? I know of but one separate command, 
properly so-called, and that is in the Northern Depart 
ment ; and General Sullivan, General St. Clair, or any 
other general officer at TicOnderoga, will be considered 
in no other light, while there is a superior officer in the 
department, than if he were placed at Chatham, Basken- 
ridge or Princeton. I shall quit, with an earnest expos 
tulation that you will not suffer yourself to be teased 
with evils that only exist in the imagination, and with 
slights that have no existence at all ; keeping it in mind, 
that if there are to be several distinct armies to be formed, 
there are several gentlemen before you in point of rank 
who have a right to claim preference." 

General Greene was sent to Congress to urge relief for 
the suffering army; and all governors were urged to 
furnish supplies and troops for the ensuing campaign. 

On the twenty-fifth of April, Governor Try on of New 
York made an incursion into Connecticut with two thousand 
men, and fought with Wooster and Arnold at Ridgefield ; 
where Arnold distinguished himself, and Wooster was mor 
tally wounded. The loss of sixteen hundred tents was 
also a serious affair at the time. General Greene was 
despatched to inspect the Highlands and its defences. A 


British fleet had ascended the Hudson as far as Peekskill ; 
and as spring advanced, every possible preparation was 
made for active duty, in all departments where British 
troops could gain access by land or sea. On the twenty- 
third of May, Colonel Meigs crossed from Guilford to 
Long Island, and destroyed twelve brigs and sloops, one 
of them carrying twelve guns, and a large quantity of 
British stores, the small detachment guard having been 
recalled to New York two days before. 

It had become apparent to Washington that General 
Howe, having withdrawn so many troops from advanced 
posts, would enter New Jersey in force ; and on the 
twenty-ninth of May, he moved his headquarters to the 
well-fortified position at Middlebrook. On the seventh of 
June, Arnold was placed in command at Philadelphia, to 
act with General Mifflin in anticipation of Howe s possible 
movement in that direction. On the twelfth, General 
Howe, reenforced by two additional regiments recalled 
from Newport, R.I., marched from Brunswick towards 
Princeton with an aggregate force of seventeen thousand 

This second New Jersey campaign was short in dura^ 
tion, and of small results. Howe intrenched near Somer 
set Court House, where the Raritan River was not ford- 
able ; and neither army could attack the other. He was 
between Washington and Philadelphia. It was a chal 
lenge to the abandonment of Middlebrook, risking an 
open, circuitous march, if the American army intended to 
prevent a British movement upon the American capital. 
Howe expected to cut off the division of Sullivan, which 
was at Princeton, but that officer had moved to the hills 
to the north-west, near Flemington. Cornwallis advanced 
as far as Hillsborough, when he found that no enemy 
remained at Princeton. The British left was on the 
Millstone, and their right rested at Brunswick. A glance 


at the map " Operations in New Jersey" will show that 
any movement of the American army to the west or 
south-west would uncover their defences at Middlebrook 
to any attack by the road running due north from Bruns 
wick. Washington, anticipating the possibility of a gen 
eral action, and resolved to select a good opportunity 
to bring it on, ordered all of the Continental troops at 
Peekskill, except one thousand effective men, to march 
in three divisions, at one day s interval, under Generals 
Parsons, McDougall and Glover, to his support ; the first 
two columns to bring, each, two pieces of artillery. 

It certainly w r as General Howe s impression that Wash 
ington would have such fears for the safety of Philadel 
phia as to risk an action south of the Rarita.n. On the 
succeeding fifth of July he wrote to Lord Germaine, that 
his " only object was to bring the American army to a 
general action." But Washington only strengthened his 
works, and never believed that Howe was making Phila 
delphia the object of his movement. The following letter 
explains his views : " Had they designed for the Dela 
ware, on the first instance, they probably would have 
made a secret, rapid march of it, and not have halted as 
they have done, to awaken our attention and give us time 
for obstructing them. Instead of this, they have only 
advanced to a position to facilitate an attack on our right : 
which is the part they have the greatest likelihood of 
injuring us in. In addition to this consideration, they 
have come out as light as possible, in leaving all their 
baggage, provisions, boats, and bridges, at Brunswick, 
which plainly contradicts the idea of their pushing for the 

On the morning of the nineteenth, Howe suddenly re 
turned to Brunswick. Greene and Maxwell were advanced 
by Washington to a position between Brunswick and 
Amboy. Howe marched early in the morning of the 


twenty-second. Morgan and Wayne drove in the Hes 
sian rear-guard upon the main army, after a spirited 
skirmish. It had been Greene s intention to have Max 
well strike the column near Piscataway. Washington 
advanced his entire army as far as Quibbletown, now New 
market, upon the advice of his officers that the retreat was 
genuine ; yet not without a suspicion, afterward verified, 
that the whole was a ruse to entice him from his strong 

On the twenty-sixth, Howe put his whole army in mo 
tion to resume the offensive. Cornwallis, with the ex 
treme right, was to gain the passes to Middlebrook. 
Four battalions, with six pieces of artillery, were to 
demonstrate on Washington s left. Without further de 
tails, the action is outlined as follows : Cornwallis found 
himself confronted by Stirling. A lively skirmish ensued, 
near Westfield, now Plainfield. The Americans were 
overmatched in numbers, and lost nearly two hundred men 
in casualties and prisoners, besides three brass guns, but 
steadily fought on, while slowly retiring. Washington, 
comprehending the whole movement, retired Maxwell s 
Division, without loss, and regained the passes threatened ; 
and the prolonged resistance of Stirling delayed Corn 
wallis until too late for him to gain the American rear. 
On the afternoon of the twenty-seventh, Cornwallis, after 
a loss of seventy men, passed through Sampton un 
opposed, and joined Howe who had already retired from 
Washington s front. The American Commander-in-Chief 
dictated the choice of battlefield. Howe, representing 
Great Britain, declined his terms. On the thirtieth, 
Howe crossed to Staten Island, and his last military opera 
tions in New Jersey came to an end. He afterwards 
claimed that his forces were numerically inferior to those 
of Washington ; but both friends and critics, in the pro 
tracted controversy which afterwards arose as to this 


costly and fruitless march into New Jersey, admit that 
the disparity of force, in all respects, was with the Am 
erican army. 

The simple fact remains unobscured, that as General 
Howe s acquaintance with Washington s methods matured, 
he better appreciated his qualities as a Soldier. 




OX the twentieth of June, Washington learned that 
Burgoyne was approaching St. John s ; and that a 
detachment of British and Canadian troops, accompanied 
by Indians, had been organized for the occupation of the 
Mohawk Valley, west of Albany, under Colonel St. Leger. 
This would enable them to court the alliance of the 
Six Nations," and to suppress the enlistment into the 
American army of the scattered white population of 
that region. On the same day, he ordered General 
Putnam to hold in readiness to move up the river, at a 
moment s notice, four regiments of Massachusetts troops 
which were then at his headquarters at Peekskill, and 
also to \ hire sloops at Albany for their transportation 

The briefest possible history of these expeditions is all 
that can rind space in this narrative. Lieutenant-General 
Burgoyne left London on the twenty-ninth day of March, 
and reached Quebec on the sixth day of May. He 
promptly notified General Howe of his instructions, and 
recognized Albany as his chief objective point, so soon as 
he might recapture the posts on Lake Champlain, then 
occupied by the American forces. The organization and 
strength of the force with which he undertook his memo 
rable campaign is noticed elsewhere. 1 His confident 

1 See Appendix. ;. .... 



expectation of obtaining an adequate Canadian force of 
teams, teamsters, axe-men, horses, wagons, and guides 
familiar with the country, proved unwarranted. Instead 
of two thousand, less than two hundred reported for duty. 
This was not the fault of General Carleton, for of him 
Burgoyne said, " He could not have done more for his 
own brother " ; but the Canadians themselves Avere more 
desirous of peace with their New^ England neighbors than 
to be involved in war with them. The proclamation of 
Burgoyne to the people of New England and New York 
was arrogant and repellant, instead of being sympathetic 
and conciliatory. Washington at once furnished the 
antidote by the following : " Harassed as we are by un 
relenting persecution ; obliged by every tie to repel vio 
lence by force ; urged by self-preservation to exert the 
strength which Providence has given us, to defend our 
natural rights against the aggressor, we appeal to the 
hearts of all mankind for the justice of our course ; its 
event WQ leave with Him who speaks the fate of nations, 
in humble confidence that as His omniscient eye taketh 
note even of a sparrow that fallcth to the ground, so He 
will not withdraw His confidence from a people who 
humbly array themselves under His banner, in defence 
of the noblest principles with which He has adorned 

General Burgoyne was equally infelicitous in his nego 
tiations with the Iroquois, Algonquins, Abenagies and 
Ottawa Indians, whom he met on the twenty-second day 
of June. In fact, General Burgoyne had no sympathy 
with the British policy which ordered the hire of Indian 
allies. The following declaration stands to his perpetual 
credit, and should appear in every volume that may ever 
be published which refers to his campaign in America. 
His words were these : " The Indian principle of war is 
at once odious and unavailing, and if encouraged, I will 


venture to pronounce its consequences, will be sorely re 
pented by the present age and be universally abhorred by 
posterity." And afterwards, in the presence of the Earl 
of Harrington, when St. Luc claimed that "Indians must 
fight their own way, or desert," Burgoyne answered : " I 
would rather lose every Indian than connive at their enor 
mities." And still another incident is to be noticed, 
especially as it places before the reader a very character 
istic utterance of General Gates, his adversary in that 
campaign. The latter wrote to General Burgoyne as fol 
lows : "The miserable fate of Miss McCrea, massacred by 
Indians, was peculiarly aggravated by her being dressed 
to receive her promised husband, but met her murderers 
instead, employed by you. Upward of one hundred men, 
women and children, have perished by the hands of 
ruffians to whom it is asserted you have paid the price of 
blood." To this, the gallant general replied: "I would 
not be conscious of the acts you presume to impute to 
me, for the whole continent of America ; though the 
wealth of worlds was in its bowels, and a paradise upon 
its surface." 

On the twenty-fifth of March, General Gates relieved 
General Schuyler from command of the Northern Depart 
ment ; but the latter was promptly restored, after present 
ing his case before Congress. General Schuyler promptly 
tendered to General Gates the command of Ticonderoga ; 
but it was sneer ingly and disrespectfully declined. To a 
requisition upon Washington for tents, made by Gates, 
Washington replied : " As the northern troops are hutted, 
the tents must be used for southern troops until a supply 
can be obtained." The reply of Gates is an illustration 
of his ambition and jealousy, and points the trend of his 
subsequent career. It reads as follows : " Refusing this 
army what you have not in your power, is one thing ; but 
saying that this army has not the same necessities as the 


southern army, is another. I can assure your excellency, 
the services of the northern army require tents as much 
as any service I ever saw." To Mr. Lovell, of the New 
England delegation in Congress, Gates wrote : " Either I 
am exceedingly dull, or unreasonably jealous, if I do not 
discover by the style and tenor of the letters from Morris- 
town, how little I have to expect from thence. Generals 
are like parsons, they are all for christening their own 
child, first ; but let an impartial, moderating power decide 
between us, and do not suffer southern prejudice to weigh 
heavier in the balance than the northern." Washington, 
of course, used the term " southern " simply in its geo 
graphical sense ; but this subtle appeal to Congressmen by 
Gates was exactly the counterpart of that of his most 
intimate friend General Charles Lee ; and both alike, ulti 
mately, paid the penalty of their unsoldierly conduct. 
On the ninth of June, Gates took a "leave of absence " 
and left the department. 

Schuyler ordered all forts to be put in condition for 
service ; appealed to the States to forward militia ; and on 
the twentieth proceeded to inspect each post for himself. 
Although the garrison of Fort Ticonderoga consisted of 
only twenty-five hundred and forty-six Continental troops 
and nine hundred militia, it was deemed advisable to 
" protract defence until reinforcements could arrive, or the 
stores be removed." St. Clair "did not consider it prac 
ticable to fortify Sugar Loaf Hill," which, subsequently 
occupied by Burgoyne, placed the garrison at his mercy. 
Meanwhile, the personal inspection by Schuyler realized 
his worst apprehensions as to the actual condition of the 
troops in the Northern Department. Supplies, other than 
pork and flour, had not been accumulated, and there was 
nothing to sustain the belief of the American people that 
Ticonderoga had been made a real fortress. Schuyler 
hastened to Albany, to forward troops and supplies. 


St. Clair wrote as late as the last of June : " Should the 
enemy attack us, they will go back faster than they came." 
But on the first day of July, Burgoyne was before Ticon- 
deroga, and St. Clair abandoned the post without pro 
longed resistance. The absence of General Schuyler at 
so critical a time was the subject of a Court of Inquiry, 
called at his own request, in view of very harsh criticisms, 
chiefly from New England ; but he was acquitted, with 
"the highest honor for services already rendered." 

The close observation of the American Commander- 
in-Chief, and the movements of Burgoyne s army, drew 
from him, when so many were despondent, the follow 
ing extraordinary prophetic letter to General Schuyler, 
dated July 22d : f Though our affairs have for some 
days past worn a dark gloomy aspect, T yet look 
forward to a fortunate and happy change. I trust 
General Burgoyne s army will meet, sooner or later, 
an important check ; and as I have suggested before 
[letter of July 15th], that the success he has had, will 
precipitate his ruin. From your accounts, he appears 
to be pursuing that line of conduct which of all others is 
most favorable to us : I mean, acting in detachments. 
This conduct will certainly give room for enterprise on 
our part and expose his parties to great hazard. Could 
we be so happy as to cut one of them off, though it should 
not exceed four, five, or six hundred men, it would inspirit 
the people, and do away much of this present anxiety. 
In such an event, they would lose sight of past misfort 
unes, and, urged at the same time by a regard for their 
own security, they would fly to arms and afford every aid 
in their power." This forecast of the Battle of Benning- 
ton was realized in its best promise: That battle, fought 
on the sixteenth day of August, in which General Stark 
and Colonel Warner won enviable renown, brought to the 
former his well-earned promotion. Other nearly concur- 


rent events in the Mohawk Valley the gallant defence 
of Fort Schuyler and the Battle of Oriskany, aroused 
the militia to action ; and General Schuyler succeeded in 
organizing and preparing for the field a force fully ade 
quate to meet Burgoyne s entire force, with the assurance 
of victory. That he was superseded by Gates, and lost 
the command of the northern army on the eve of its antic 
ipated triumph, was no discredit to him, but an inci 
dent of political management which Washington himself, 
at that period, was powerless to control. 

On the seventeenth day of October, Burgoyne surren 
dered his army, numbering five thousand seven hundred 
and fifty-three men. The total strength of the American 
army opposed to him was eighteen thousand six hun 
dred and twenty-four ; of which number nine thousand 
nine hundred and ninety-three Continental troops, besides 
militia, were present. 

Of the incidents most memorable in the entire cam 
paign, was the monumental daring of Arnold on the 
seventeenth of September. Tedious discussions have in 
vain attempted to deny him due credit for bravery at a 
critical hour of that battle-issue ; as if his subsequent 
treason were to be reflected back to his discredit. His 
eventual promotion, and the congratulations of Washing 
ton when it was attained, and the latest duly authenticated 
documents, are conclusive in his favor. 

This brief outline of the invasion of Burgoyne only 
intensifies the interest with which the mind returns to the 
headquarters of the American Commander-in-Chief. 
Every possible effort had been made by him, and with 
success, to supply the northern army with men and means 
to meet that invasion. The side issues, especially that 
of Bennington, had, as Washington predicted, imparted 
courage to other Colonies than those which were immedi 
ately affected ; for the cause was the common cause of alL 


The location of Washington s headquarters in the fastnesses 
of New Jersey had already so restricted the movements of 
the garrison at New York, and threatened the city itself, 
as to prevent the promised support which Burgoyne had 
regarded as essential to the success of his invasion. A 
careful perusal of his evidence before the House of Com 
mons, his field-notes, itineraries, and correspondence 
with General Howe and the British War Office, leave no 
doubt that he regarded his movement as having for its 
ultimate result the entire control of the Hudson River 
and the practical conquest of New England. But Gen 
eral Howe, having in vain attempted to force the 
American Commander-in-Chief to abandon New Jersey 
and his perpetual menace to New York, or engage in a 
general action without choice of time and place, resolved 
to move by sea to Philadelphia and force him to fight for, 
or lose without battle, the American seat of government 
itself. His own views as to such an expedition are worthy 
of notice. While practically ready to sail for the capture 
of Philadelphia, he made other demonstrations, and wrote 
a specious autograph letter, which was designed to reach 
Washington, and put him off his guard. Washington 
was not deceived by it. It reads as follows, addressed 
to General Burgoyne : 

NEW YORK, July 2, 1777. 

DEAR SIR : I received your letter of the 14th of May from Que 
bec, and shall fully observe its contents. The expedition to B 

[Boston] will take the place of that up the North River. If, accord 
ing to my expectations, we may succeed rapidly in the possession of 

B [Boston] , the enemy having no force of consequence there, I 

shall, without loss of time, proceed to cooperate with you in the de 
feat of the rebel army opposed to you. Clinton is sufficiently strong 
to amuse Washington and Putnam. I am now making a demonstra 
tion southward, which I think will have the full effect in carrying 
our plan into execution. Success attend you. 



The allusion of Howe to General Putnam indicated a 
better knowledge of the methods of that officer than 
appreciation of the character of Washington. The head 
quarters of General Putnam, who then commanded the 
Highland range of the defences of the Hudson, were at 
Peekskill. Forts Clinton and Montgomery were located 
upon a high spur of the range, on the west side of the 
river, separated by the Poplen, a small creek. Both 
were above the range of guns from ships-of-war, and 
so surrounded by ravines and crags as to be difficult of 
approach, even by land. A boom and heavy chain ex 
tended from the foot of the cliff to a sharp promontory 
opposite, known as " St. Anthony s Nose." So many 
troops had been sent to the support of Gates, that the 
garrison consisted mainly of militia. Advices had 
already been received that an expedition had been or 
ganized at New York for a diversion of troops from any 
further reinforcement of the American Northern army. 
Governor Clinton therefore ordered a considerable militia 
force to report to General Putnam for strengthening the 
garrisons of the river posts. But General Putnam fur- 
loughed the men during harvest and seeding, because the 
New York garrison seemed to rest so peacefully in their 
city quarters. Hearing of this extensive furlough, 
Governor Clinton promptly modified his own order, 
allowing one-half to remain upon their farms ; but for 
the other half to report at Peekskill and the forts named. 
Before this modified order could take effect, the expedition 
of Clinton was under way ; while the entire force assembled 
at the two forts was less than six hundred and fifty men. 

Clinton s expedition left New York on the third of 
October, and intentionally " made every appearance of 
their intention to land only at Fort Independence and 
Peekskill." Putnam and ; his army, and his immediate 
surroundings, on the east bank of the Hudson, were osten- 


tatiously announced as Clinton s objective, and Putnam 
acted upon that basis. Governor Clinton was not so de 
ceived, but adjourned the Legislature, then in session at 
Kingston, and hastened to Fort Montgomery to assist 
in its defence, and advise its garrison as to the available 
approaches to the post through the mountains, with which 
he was familiar. (See map, " Attacks of Forts Clinton 
and Montgomery.") 

Both Governor Clinton at Montgomery and Gen. 
James Clinton at Fort Clinton distinguished themselves 
by a stubborn resistance and great gallantry ; but both 
posts were taken on the night of the fifth. The American 
loss was nearly three hundred killed, wounded and miss 
ing ; and two hundred and thirty-seven were taken pris 
oners. The British loss was forty killed and one hundred 
and fifty-one wounded. General Clinton was wounded 
in a bayonet charge, but escaped to the mountains ; and 
Governor Clinton escaped by a skiff and joined Putnam. 
That officer was so confident of attack upon his own posi 
tion that he had fallen back to the heights behind Peeks- 
kill. He thought it impracticable to leave that position 
to attack General Clinton, who first landed upon the east 
side of the river, but did make a reconnoissance south 
ward when too late. He says, in his Report : " On 
my return from this reconnoissance with General Par 
sons we were alarmed by a very heavy and hot firing, 
both of small-arms and cannon, at Fort Montgomery. 
Upon which, I immediately detached five hundred men 
to reenforce the garrison ; but before they could possibly 
cross to their assistance, the enemy, superior in numbers, 
had possessed themselves of the fort." 

The British advanced above Peekskill and destroyed 
some stores at Connecticut Village, and General Vaughan 
destroyed Esopus (Kingston). The forts were dis 
mantled, and General Clinton returned to New York. 


General Putnam, reenforced By militia from Connecti 
cut, New York and New Jersey, soon rcoccupied Peeks- 
kill ; where he was shortly afterwards strengthened by 
Continental troops from the northern army. The pres 
ence of an intelligent commanding officer of reasonable 
military skill, or the absolute control of both posts by 
Governor Clinton, would .have prevented their loss. 
The limited range of this expedition of Sir Henry Clinton 
confirms Stedman s statement, that he had no intention 
of pressing north to the aid of General Burgoyne. 



THE British Commander-in-Chief entertained no 
doubts of the success of Burgoyne s invasion from 
Canada. His reiterated appeals to Britain for reenforce- 
nients were not heeded, and he certainly knew that troops 
could not be furnished up to his demand. But he still 
hoped that the invasion from the north would so drain 
New England and New York of their able-bodied militia, 
as to render it impossible for either section to forward its 
respective full quota to the Continental army of Wash 
ington. Two campaigns into New Jersey had sufficiently 
satisfied him that he never could bend Washington to his 
knees ; and yet he must get Washington away from his 
position near New York, and then defeat that army 
utterly, before British supremacy could be restored. This 
conviction, once before noticed, was reflected in a letter 
to Lord Germaine, from which extracts have interest. 
He had " not overlooked New England," but says in this 
letter, that " Burgoyne s movement would draw Washing 
ton s army northward, where the population was dense 
and the spirit of defence was animated." " In Connecti 
cut," he continues, "there was no object for which he 
would be willing to risk a general action ; and only two 
or three places upon the coast of Long Island Sound could 
be kept in the winter." But he adds that, if his " reen- 
forcements had been forthcoming, New England would 
have had a share "in the general operations of the cam- 




paign, while the main army acted toward the southward." 
rt To have moved up the Hudson, in force, would have 
imperiled New York, or sacrificed all other operations 
to a union with Burgoyne, who was expected to force his 
own way to Albany." ! To enter Pennsylvania, was not 
only to assail the capital, but attempted the surest road 
to peace, the defeat of the rebel army." 

All these considerations, thus tersely communicated to 
the British Government, were sound in military policy ; 
and yet all of them had been anticipated by the American 
Commander-in- Chief, as prudent on the part of General 
Howe. Even very insignificant incidents were weighed 
by him, as of determining value in a nearly balanced 
scale ; so that the number, character and distribution of 
pickets from the New York garrison became valuable 
indications to the keen espionage with which Washing 
ton conducted his search for the real intent of General 
Howe s published or unpublished designs. 

The British fleet had actually sailed from New York 
before Washington received Howe s letter of the second. 
Clinton returned to the city on the tenth. On the 
fifteenth, an express from Burgoyne informed General 
Howe of the capture of Ticonderoga, and stated, that tf his 
army was in good health, and [which was never realized] 
that Ticonderoga would be garrisoned by troops from 
Canada, which would leave his force complete for further 
operations." Howe s expedition southward left New York 
on the twenty-third of July, and did not arrive off the 
Delaware until the thirtieth. 

Upon the first disappearance of the fleet, Washington, 
suspecting some ruse its possible return and a move 
ment in support of Burgoyne, or a descent upon New 
England, or even New Jersey, started his army for 
Coryell s Ferry ; to be ready to march northward, or 
eastward, in the prospect of an active campaign. When 


assured that the entire fleet had positively sailed south 
ward, he marched with exceeding celerity to Philadelphia. 
Active measures were initiated for gathering the militia, 
sinking obstructions in the Delaware, and picketing 
every spot along the river which might be utilized for the 
landing of troops. But the appearance of the British 
fleet in Delaware Bay, its speedy withdrawal, and its 
long absence clue to contrary w T inds, foiled all calcu 
lations of Washington as to its ultimate destination. At 
a Council of War, held on the twenty-first of August, it 
was unanimously concluded that Howe had sailed for 
Charleston, S.C. But, on the twenty-second, at half- 
past one in the afternoon, Washington received the fol 
lowing despatch from President Hancock : "This moment 
an express arrived from Maryland with an account of near 
two hundred sail of General Howe s fleet being anchored 
in Chesapeake Bay." 

This information was received with the most intense in 
terest. In the face of slow enlistments, scarcity of funds, 
and deficiencies in clothing and all military supplies, the 
transfer of British military operations from the Hudson 
w r as regarded as an indication that New Jersey had been 
substantially recovered from British aggression, and that 
Washington had outgeneraled his adversary. The opera 
tions of Burgoyne northward could be taken care of by the 
rapidly increasing flow of New England militia to resist 
his advance ; and the Pennsylvania people were wide awake. 

The army of Washington paraded through Philadelphia, 
gayly decorated with evergreens. The enthusiasm of the 
soldiers, rank and file, received fresh inspiration from the 
almost wild demonstrations of thousands who bordered 
their course of march. Incessant cheering, loud greet 
ings of encouragement, as well as bountiful gifts of deli 
cacies and of useful conveniences for the camp or march, 
sent them forward hopeful and happy. 


The American army which finally marched against 
General Howe s well equipped force of nearly eighteen 
thousand men was of the nominal strength of fourteen 
thousand ; but the entire roster added up not quite 
eleven thousand " effectives, present for duty." 

The thoughtful reader, of whatever age or training, is 
prompted to linger here a moment, and catch a parting 
view of this column of earnest men, so proudly and joy 
fully marching to meet in battle the magnificent array of 
Britain s chief captains and most honored battalions, the 
famous Grenadiers of Hanau, and the dragoons and lancers 
of Hesse. When all are waiting for the advance, who is 
that man who swiftly rides past the column to its front, 
erect in saddle, calm, self-reliant, imposing in presence, 
and with face radiant in confidence and trust? What sort 
of faith is that which inspires the utterance, which rings 
like that of the Hebrew Captain when about to face the 
horsemen and chariots of the P^gyptian Pharaoh : " Tell 
the people that they go forward " ? How dare this Ameri 
can soldier reckon upon chances for victory in such an 
unequal measurement of physical force, unless he discern; 
through plainest garb, the proof-panoply of those whose 
cause is just? And whence the inspiration of those men 
of brawn, whose nerves seemed turned to steel, that they 
are so firmly and confidently ready to enter into the try 
ing ordeal of battle. 

It i8 the Continental Army of America, with Washing 
ton in command! 

Only short halts at Derby, Chester and Wilmington 
delayed their march ; and after each halt, that single word, 
" Forward ! " as it ran down the lines, brigade after brigade, 
again brought shouts from spectators and soldiers alike. 

General Sullivan, who had been detained in New Jersey 
to make an attack upon the British posts on Staten Island 
which failed of its anticipated success, joined; the com- 


luand just in time for Brandywine. There was no timidity 
in this advancing army. Every heart beat with steady 
cadence. Maxwell, with a selected corps of one hundred 
men from each brigade, supplied the place of Morgan s 
Rifles, then with the northern army. He pushed forward 
even to Elk River, accompanied by the youthful Lafay 
ette, hoping to save some stores gathered there before the 
British could effect a landing, and possibly to obstruct 
the landing itself. 

This was on September third ; but too late to save the 
stores, for the British were already encamped. A sharp 
skirmish with Cornwallis was reported by General rllbwe 
to have resulted in a British loss of two officers and 
twenty-two men, killed or wounded. 

On the seventh, the entire army reached Newport, arid 
took position along Red Clay Creek. On the same day, 
General Howe occupied Iron Hill, within eight miles 
of Red Clay, and again the American Rifles hajl a skir 
mish with the British advance. These picked men delib 
erately took up position after position, and only yielded 
to superior force as they slowly retired. The confidence 
of Washington was everywhere fully realized. On the 
eighth, the British army demonstrated in force ; with view 
to turning the right of Washington, and to cut him oft* 
from communication with Philadelphia. At half-past 
nine of the morning of the ninth, pursuant to the unani 
mous vote of a council of officers, Washington took up a 
new position, selected by General Greene, on the east 
bank of the Brandywine and on high ground, just back 
of Chadd s Ford, and commanding the Chester and Phila 
delphia road. The Battle of Brandywine followed. The 
space which has been allowed for this narrative can admit 
only such leading incidents as unfold Washington s gen 
eral management, and the ultimate results. 

A reference to the map will aid the; reader to under- 


stand the relative positions of the opposing armies. The 
American army was on the eastern bank of the river, 
which was quite rugged of approach and easily defended. 
Its left wing, southward, began with Armstrong s Penn 
sylvania militia. At the next ford, Chadd s, and nearly 
as far as Brinton s, are Weedon, Muhlenburg and Wayne, 
with Proctor s artillery in their rear, behind light earth 
works thrown up in haste. In their rear, on still higher 
ground, is the reserve division of General Greene, with 
Washington s headquarters. Next in order, up the river, 
are the divisions of Sullivan, Stephen and Stirling, each 
of two brigades with Sullivan in virtual command, and 
Stirling, next in rank, commanding the right division 
and practically reaching Jones Ford. Major Spear had 
charge of scouts extended as far as the forks of the 
Brandywine and the adjacent fords, both below and above 
the forks. The upper ford, Jeffries, was not thoroughly 
watched, and its distance almost precluded the liability 
of its use. A road from Jones Ford runs perpendicularly 
to the riyer, over to the Dilworth and Winchester road, 
and just before reaching the Birmingham Meeting House, 
passes high, rough and wooded ground, where the chief 
fighting took place. The British encampment on the 
tenth is indicated at the left of the map. 

On the morning of the eleventh, Maxwell crossed at 
Chadd s Ford ; advanced to Kennett Meeting House, and 
skirmished with Knyphausen, until compelled by a supe 
rior force to fall back to high ground near the river. 
Porterfield and Waggoner crossed at his left and attacked 
Ferguson s Rifles. Knyphausen brought up two brigades, 
with guns ; and this force, with the Queen s Rangers, on 
Knyphausen s extreme right, compelled both American 
detachments to recross the river. The American casu 
alties were sixty, and those of the Hessian and British 
troops about one hundred and thirty. A fog along the 


river had facilitated Maxwell s operations ; but it pre 
vented the American scouts from gaining accurate data as 
to the movements of the British. While Knyphausen was 
demonstrating as if to force a crossing at Chadd s Ford, 
Cornwallis was reported to be moving with five thousand 
men and artillery toward a ford near the forks of the 
Brandy wine. Bland had crossed at Jones Ford, between 
nine and ten in the morning, and reported this movement 
of Cornwallis. Washington ordered Sullivan to cross 
and attack Cornw T allis, while he intended to cross at 
Chadd s Ford, in person, and attack Knyphausen, assign 
ing to General Greene an intermediate crossing, to strike 
the left of the Hessian general. When the fog disap 
peared, there was no evidence of the whereabouts of the 
British column. It seemed hardly possible that it had 
gone further up the river ; while, if it had joined Kny 
phausen, the force was too strong to be attacked. Wash 
ington therefore revoked his orders, and withdrew the 
skirmish party that had already made the crossing. As a 
matter of fact, the movement of Cornwallis was but a 
flanking support to the advance of the entire British 
army ; while Knyphausen s advance towards Chadd s 
Ford, although prepared to cross, if opportunity favored, 
was a ruse to draw attention from General Howe s splen 
did manoeuvre. That officer left Kennett Square at day 
light, marched seventeen miles, and by two o clock had 
crossed the upper fork of the Brandy wine, and was 
moving down upon the right of the entire American 

As soon as advised that the British were advancing, 


Washington ordered Sullivan to bring the entire right 
wing into position to oppose their progress. The woods 
were dense and the surface was rocky, so that three divi 
sions must swing back and present to the British advance 
a new front, almost perpendicular to that with which they 


had previously faced the river. But it would bring them 
to the high ground, before noticed, between Birmingham 
Meeting House and the river. This movement, which 
practically involved one of the most difficult elements of 
Grand Tactics, defined in the Preface as the "Art of 
handling force on the battlefield," was not within Gen 
eral Sullivan s capacity. The best troops in the world 
would have found it slow of execution, while no less 
vital to success in the existing emergency. It required 
of the division commanders just that kind of familiarity 
with combined movements of brigades and divisions, 
Avhich is required of regiments in a single brigade, or of 
companies in a regiment. Sullivan could not at the 
same time command the Grand Division, or Corps, and 
his own division proper, unless able to place that division 
in charge of a brigadier-general who was fully competent 
to command a division. It is also to be borne in mind 
that the woods, rocks, undergrowth, and suddenness of 
the order complicated the movement. Stirling and 
Stephen succeeded in gaining the new position, barely 
in time to meet the assault of Cormvallis, without time 
for intrenching to any effect. Sullivan s Division fell 
into such disorder, that after sending four aides, and then 
a personal appeal, he gave up the attempt to rally his 
division. He says : " Some rallied, others could not be 
brought even by their officers to do anything but fly." 
Only three of his regiments those of Hazen, Dayton 
and Ogden, ever reliable gained and firmly held the 
new position throughout the battle. 

The enemy, which had formed behind Osborne s Hill, 
advanced rapidly, Cornwallis in the lead. The resistance 
was stubborn and well maintained, as General Howe 
admitted, from three o clock until sunset. Sullivan, upon 
finding himself powerless to rally and move his own 
division, while he was responsible for the entire combined 


movement, went to the battlefield and was conspicuous 
for bravery during the day. The resistance of Stirling 
and Stephen was admirable ; but the brigade of Deborre, 
a French general, broke and fled, in wild disorder. The 
absence of Sullivan s Division left a gap on the American 
left of nearly half a mile, and Deborre s cowardice shat 
tered the right wing. 

As soon as the right wing gave way, Washington 
hastened, with Greene, to the front. There was no retreat 
except toward Dilworth. By a direct march of nearly 
four miles in fifty minutes, and a wheel to the left, of 
half a mile, Washington was enabled to occupy a defile 
from which to open a passage for the retreating battal 
ions. He then closed in upon their rear, and prolonged 
the resistance with vigor. In an orchard beyond Dil 
worth, three regiments made another stand. Night sep 
arated the tw T o armies. Stirling and Stephen saved both 
artillery and baggage. Armstrong s brigade, on the ex 
treme left, below Chadd s Ford, was not engaged : but, 
together with Maxwell s, and Wayne, who was compelled 
to abandon his guns, joined the main army, without fur 
ther loss. They had, however, kept Knyphausen beyond 
the river. The entire army fell back to Chester. The 
American casualties were seven hundred and eighty, and 
those of the British were six hundred. Lafayette lost 
a horse, and was himself wounded, in this his first service 
after receipt of his commission. 

Deborre was dismissed for cowardice. Conflicts as to 
the defective reconnoissance that nearly sacrificed the 
army arose, which need not be discussed. In justice to 
General Sullivan, Washington wrote a letter responsive 
to his request for some testimonial to submit to Congress, 
which is here given in part : " With respect to your other 
query, whether your being posted on the right was to 
guard that flank, and whether you had neglected it, I can 


only observe that the only obvious if not the declared pur 
pose of your being there, implied every necessary pre 
caution for the security of that flank. But it is at the 
same time to be remarked, that all the fords above 
Chadd s from which we were taught to apprehend danger 
were guarded by detachments from your division, and 
that we were led to believe by those whom we had every 
reason to think well acquainted with the country, that no 
ford above our picket-lines could be passed without mak 
ing a very circuitous march." The British army re 
mained on the field ; and the wounded of both armies were 
properly cared for by General Howe. His skill as a 
scientific soldier was again illustrated, as well as his habit 
ual failure to follow up a first success ; but he was under 
peculiar conditions which must have influenced his judg 
ment. His army had left its ships, which had been 
ordered to go to the Delaware ; as his objective was the 
capture of Philadelphia, after first destroying the Ameri 
can army. That army had retreated in remarkable order 
and under good control. Humanity alone would have 
persuaded Howe to care for the wounded, and a night 
pursuit, of the Americans through that country, would 
have been a wild venture. 

Washington s despatch to President Hancock announc 
ing his retreat to Chester, was dated from that place at 
midnight, September 11, 1777. The wonderful presence 
of mind of the American Comrnander-in-Chief, his aptitude 
for emergencies, and his extraordinary capacity for mak 
ing the most of raw troops, were never more thoroughly 
evinced during his entire public career. The uneven 
ground, dense woods, and facilities for good rifle-practice, 
were features favorable to inspire his troops with special 
resisting capacity : and it is not beyond a fair presump 
tion to suggest that, if the main army had been allowed 
two hours for fortifying their position, the British, accus- 


tomed to fighting in close order, would have been repulsed. 
It is certain that General Howe had skilful as well as will 
ing guides, to secure to him, by so long a detour, his 
surprise of Sullivan s right wing. That was part of the 
same toryism of that period which a few days later, and 
not far away, betrayed Wayne s forces, with great loss. 
But with all the mistakes, and the retreat of the Ameri 
can army, there was much of hope in the experience and 
in the sequel of the Battle of Brandy wine. 

NOTE. Lafayette, or LaFayette, makes his first appearance 
in this battle. At that period " affix-names," derived from fiefs, 
seigniories, or estates, long held by families, were emphasized. 
Hence, La villa Faya, in Auvergne, when acquired, was added to 
the family name Metier. In the parish register, now in the war 
archives of France, the name is thus recorded : " Marie-Joseph- 
Paul-Yves-Rock-Gilbert Dumotier Lafayette." He signed his name 
Lafayette, and his grandsons, Senators Oscar and Edmond Lafayette, 
followed his example. The permanent acceptance of the spelling 
Lafayette is therefore fully warranted, and harmonizes with its use 
for counties and cities in many of the States. 

This gallant young volunteer in the cause of American Independ 
ence, attended by Baron John De Kalb, and nine others, came to 
America in the ship Victoire, chartered by himself; and on the 19th 
of June, Lafayette wrote to his wife of his enthusiastic welcome at 
Charleston, S.C. On the 27th of July, he reached Philadelphia. 
He was commissioned Major-General by the American Congress, 
and took his first seat at a Council of War, August 21st, when the 
movement of the American army against Howe was under ad 



"TTJ ASHINGTON marched directly to Philadelphia to 
V V refit his army and secure ammunition and provi 
sions, and thence marched to Germantown, " for one day 
of rest." His confidence was not abated. The brave 
soldiers who had left Philadelphia with such jubilant 
anticipations of victory, were conscious of having fought 
well against a superior force, and were never more willing 
to honor the confidence of their Commander-in-Chief. 
And Washington himself was not hurried, but system 
atic and constantly in motion. On the thirteenth he 
ordered Monsieur de Coudray to complete defensive works 
along the Delaware River ; General Putnam, to forward 
fifteen hundred Continental troops ; and General Arm 
strong, to occupy the line of the Schuylkill, as well as to 
throw up redoubts near its fords, in case he should find 
it desirable to cross that river. 

The left wing of General Howe s army demonstrated 
toward Reading and Philadelphia. The right wing, under 
Generals Grant and Cornwallis, reached Chester on the 
thirteenth. General Howe had taken care of the wounded 
of both armies, but was compelled to obtain surgeons from 
Washington to assist in that duty. At Wilmington, he 
captured the governor, and considerable coin which he 
proposed to use for the benefit of the wounded of both 
armies. Inasmuch as Grant and Cornwallis were practi- 



callv in the rear of the American army, lie proposed to 
march to Philadelphia via Germantown ; and both threaten 
the city, and cut off Washington from retreat northward 
or westward. But, on the fifteenth, Washington crossed 
the Sehuylkill at Swede s Ford ; so that Howe s halt, even 
of a single day, on the battlefield, rendered it useless for 
him to make a forced march to the city ; and his oppor 
tunity was lost. 

Washington moved out on the Lancaster road as far as 
Warren tavern. Howe, watching his keen adversary, 
advanced toward Westchester, and both armies prepared 
for battle. Howe made a partly successful attempt to 
throw the American army back upon the Sehuylkill River, 
and both armies were prepared for action ; when a heavy 
rain which nearly ruined the ammunition of the Ameri 
cans, and " directly in the faces of the British troops," as 
reported by Howe, averted battle. Washington left 
Wayne, however, with fifteen hundred troops, in a strong 
position at Paoli (Wayne s birthplace), with orders to 
fall upon the British rear so soon as it should break camp, 
and then moved to Yellow Springs and Warwick ; but 
upon finding that Howe did not intend to attack Reading, 
recrossed the Sehuylkill at Parkes Ford, and encamped on 
thePerkiomy, September seventeenth. On the twentieth, 
Wayne allowed himself to be surprised at night, through 
the treachery of the country people, his old neighbors ; 
and left more than three hundred of his force as prisoners 
in the hands of General Gray, although saving his guns 
and most of his baggage. General Smallwood s brigade, 
left by General Washington for Wayne s support, and 
encamped but a mile distant, failed to be in time to render 
aid during the night attack. This disaster took all 
pressure from Howe s army, and he moved on. Wash 
ington reports as to Howe s movement : " They had got 
so far the start before I received certain intelligence that 


tiny considerable number had crossed, that I found it in 
vain to think of overtaking their rear, with troops har 
assed as ours had been by constant marching since the 
Battle of Brandy wine." Colonel Hamilton was sent to 
Philadelphia to force a contribution of shoes from the in 
habitants, as " one thousand of his army were barefooted." 

The simplest possible recital of these days of active 
marching, sufficiently indicates the character of those 
brave troops whose confidence in Washington seemed as 
responsive to his will as if his nervous activities embraced 
theirs as well. 

A small portion of the British left wing crossed at 
( Gordon s Ford on the twenty-second, and the main body 
at Flatland Ford, on the twenty-third, reaching German- 
town on the twenty-fifth. On the twenty-seventh, Corn- 
wallis entered Philadelphia. Colonel Sterling of the 
British army was sent to operate against the defences of 
the Delaware, and the fleet of Admiral Howe was 
already on its way to Philadelphia. 

The boldness of Washington s attempt on the rear of 
Howe s army, and all his action immediately after the 
Battle of Brandy wine, were a striking indication of his 
purpose to retain the gage of battle in his own hands. 
He sent a peremptory order to General Putnam, who was 
constantly making ill-advised attempts upon the out 
posts of New York, to send him twenty-five hundred men 
without delay ; and most significant of all, directed him 
" so to use militia, that the posts in the Highland might 
be perfectly safe." Congress immediately adjourned to 
Lancaster, and then to York, after enlarging Wash 
ington s powers ; and General Gates was ordered to send 
Morgan s riflemen to headquarters. This, however, he 
delayed to do until after the close of the northern cam 

General Howe established his headquarters at German- 


town, having been one month in marching from the head 
of the Elk to Philadelphia, a distance of fifty-four miles. 
x The town of Germantown consisted of a single street, 
not so straight that a complete range of fire could reach its 
entire length, nor so uniform in grade that a gun at Mt. 
Aury, its summit, could have a clean sweep. The head 
quarters of Washington were near Pennebeck Mills, 
twenty miles from Philadelphia. At seven o clock of 
the evening of October third, he moved with two-thirds 
of his army by four roads which more or less directly 
approached the British encampments, intending to gain 
proximate positions, rest his troops, and attack the entire 
British line at daybreak. The plan of the movement is 
of interest for its boldness and good method. The inci 
dents of the morning, which by reason of fog and other 
mishaps rendered the battle less decisive, will not be 
fully detailed. 1 The woods, ravines, and difficulties in 
the way of clear recognition between friend and foe, in 
that engagement, only enhance the value of the general 
plan, and of the cool self-possession and control of his 
army which enabled Washington to terminate the action 
without greater loss. 

Sullivan and Wayne, with Conway in advance as a 
flanking corps, were to move directly over Chestnut Hill 
and enter the town. Maxwell and Nash, under Major- 
General Stirling, were to follow this column as a reserve. 
Armstrong, with the Pennsylvania militia, was sent down 
the Manatawny River road, to cross the Wissahickon 
Creek, and fall upon the British left wing and rear. Greene 
and Stephen, led and flanked by McDougalPs Brigade, 
were to move by the Limestone Road, enter the village at 
the Market House, and attack the British right wing. 
Generals Small wood and Forman, with the Maryland and 
New Jersey militia, were to follow the old York road until 

1 See " Battles of the American Revolution," Chapter LI. 


a convenient opportunity should bring them to the 

extreme right and rear of the enemy. (See map.) 

Washington accompanied Sullivan s command ; and 
was able, from his advanced position, early in the fight, 
to appreciate that by the failure of an identity of support 
on the part of the most remote divisions, the withdrawal 
of the army had become necessary. The occupation of 
the stone building, known as the Chew House, on the 
main street, had little significance ; except that it misled 
the outlying divisions as to the real centre of conflict, and 
detained the rear-guard and reserve longer than neces 
sary. The concurrent action of all the assailing columns, 
in the directions indicated by their orders, would have 
made the issue a well-balanced question of victory or fail 
ure. One single incident is mentioned. General Stephen 
left Greene s command without orders, and moved toward 
the sound of firing at the Chew House, only to find him 
self firing into Wayne s command, which was in its right 
place. He was dismissed, on charges of intoxication. 

General Sullivan was in his best element when under 
superior command ; and his conduct on this occasion was 
admirable. His two aides were killed, and his division 
rendered most efficient service. General Nash was among 
the killed, and the American casualties numbered six hun 
dred and seventy-three, besides four hundred and twelve 

The British casualties were five hundred and thirty-five, 
but among the killed were General Agnew and Lieuten 
ant-Colonel Bird. 

Washington regained Metuchen Hill, very little dis 
turbed by the small detachments that hung upon his rear ; 
and Howe returned to Philadelphia, abandoning his en 
campment beyond the city limits. 

The Battle of Germantown is a signal illustration of a 
skilful design, and, at the same time, of the ease with 


/W^ * 

J . J JiS 


which 11 victory almost achieved can be as quickly lost. 
Its effect upon European minds was signally impressive, 
as will hereafter more fully appear. Count de Vergennes, 
the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, in speaking of 
the report of this battle which reached him December 
12th, said : "Nothing has struck me so much, as General 
Washington s attacking and giving battle to General 
Howe s army. To bring troops raised within the year, 
to do this, promises everything." 



THE struggle for American independence and the 
career of the American Commander-in-Chief very 
minutely foreshadowed the experience of most successful 
soldiers with the political manipulations of partisans in 
Congress ever since. The " On to Richmond," and the 
"On to Washington " cries of 1861, and the fluctuations 
of the popular pulse with the incidents of successive 
campaigns in the civil war, were used by demagogues 
for selfish ends. But the same spirit had shown itself in 
a degree quite as repugnant to devoted sons of liberty, 
during the throes which accompanied this nation s birth. 

Nothing seemed too exacting as a test of the American 
Commander-in-Chief. As the war enlarged its scope, 
and the prospects of success brightened for the moment, 
clamorous aspirants for office multiplied. The personal 
bravery of the soldier was magnified at the expense of 
discipline. The slow progress of the army was charged to 
excessive caution. Nothing, so far as politicians were 
concerned, was deemed too hard for the American militia, 
if only the right sort of a quack administered their action, 
and led them to its tests. But the consciousness of 
unselfish devotion to duty, never boldly impeached, 
and ever unimpeachable, sustained Washington. Amid 
these clamors for office and preferment from Congress 
men and politicians, his faith in righteous methods, in 
patient training, in kind and considerate treatment of 



all who took part in the struggle, whatever their ante 
cedents or rank, never for a moment swerved. His pur 
pose and his self-control matured, until he attained such 
calm contempt for jealousy and intrigue that he could 
move on through the deepest waters, regardless of rest 
less, dashing wave-crests. 

The Battle of Germantown, and Howe s abandonment 
of his suburban encampment, naturally suggested the 
immediate occupation of Philadelphia by the American 
army. It, like Boston, "must be seized" at once. The 
" almost " victory on the fourth of October, blinded the 
vision of many to the broader range of national activity 
which Washington s supervision embraced. Xews of the 
surrender of Burgoyne reached his headquarters on the 
eighteenth day of October. He promptly congratulated 
General Gates and the northern army, in terms of most 
gracious sincerity and emphasis. And yet, General 
Gates presumed to send his Report to Congress direct, 
and not to his Conimander-in-Chief. Then, the "almost" 
victory of Washington over Howe, at Germantown, was 
contrasted with the complete victory of Gates over Bur 
goyne. The fact that Washington fought with fewer 
numbers, and these, of hungry, poorly armed men, 
nearly worn out by marches and counter-marches, while 
the northern army, three to one of their adversaries, 
simply penned up first, and then starved out, a force that 
had not rations for another day, counted little with these 
pseudo-scientific experts. And yet, let it ever be re 
membered, that the British garrison of Philadelphia was 
not panting for any more field-service. The very restric 
tion of that garrison to city limits and the immediate 
suburbs, proved not only subversive of their discipline 
and ejpciency, but ultimately vindicated the wisdom of 
Washington. He saw distinctly, just how its partial 
inaction afforded him time to mature his own armv 


organization ; while the garrison of New York must, of 
necessity, be kept equally passive, for lack of this very 
strong detachment which idled in barracks, on the banks 
of the Delaware. 

But while the garrison of Philadelphia limited its ex 
cursions to plundering farms and the country adjacent 
for wood, forage and provisions generally, both com 
manding generals were studying the relations of the 
Delaware River to the conduct of all future operations 
upon any decisive scale. The river had been so ob 
structed that the fleet of Admiral Howe, which had been 
compelled to land his army at the head of the Chesapeake 
in September, could not yet communicate with the army 
since it gained the city. He arrived oft* Newcastle on 
the sixth day of October. Washington realized that by 
retaining control of the Delaware he not only restricted 
the supply of provisions and military stores to the garri 
son, but retained easy communications with New Jersey 
and the Camps of Instruction and rendezvous at the 
adequately fortified posts of Morristown and Middlebrook. 

At Billingsport, chevaux-de-frise obstructed the channel. 
Just below the mouth of the Schuylkill was Fort Mifflin, 
on Mud Island. On the opposite shore, at Red Bank, 
was Fort Mercer. Washington determined to maintain 
these posts, or make their acquisition by the enemy most 
costly in men and materials. His foresight grasped, as 
if in hand, the rapidly maturing facts, that Britain could 
not much longer meet the drain of the American war and 
at the same time hold her own against her European foes ; 
and that America needed only a thoroughly concerted 
effort to consummate her independence. 

Colonel Christopher Green, courageous at Bunker Kill 
and during Arnold s expedition to Canada, was assigned 
to command Fort Mercer, with troops from his own 
State, Rhode Island. Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, of Mary- 


land, with Maryland troops, was stationed at Fort 
Mifnin. These little garrisons were strengthened by the 
detail of four hundred Continental troops to each. In 
these details, the same wisdom marked Washington s 
choice : as Angell s Rhode Island regiment reported to 
Greene, and a portion of Greene s Virginia regiment 
reported to Smith. 

The British army was not an idle observer of these 
movements. On the twenty-second of October, the two 
Grenadier regiments of Donop and Minnigerode, and two 
regiments of the line, with the Infantry Chasseurs (all 
Hessian), Avith eight 3-pounders and two howitzers, 
approached Fort Mercer and demanded its surrender. 
They had crossed at Cooper s Ferry on the twenty-first, 
slightly interrupted by skirmishers, and on the following 
morning suddenly emerged from the woods, expecting an 
easy and an immediate victory. Defiance was returned 
to their demand. Two assaulting columns, already 
formed, made an immediate and simultaneous advance 
upon the north and south faces of the fort. The garrison, 
however, knowing that it could not hold the exterior 
works, which were still incomplete, retired to the interior 
defences : but still occupied a curtain of the old works, 
which afforded an enfilading fire upon any storming party 
which should attempt the inner stockade. The with 
drawal of the garrison from the exterior works was 
misunderstood. The assault was bold, desperate, and 
brilliant. The resistance was incessant, deadly, over 
whelming. Colonel Donop fell, mortally wounded, and 
near him, Lieutenant-Colonel Minnigerode. These confi 
dent assailants lost, in less than sixty minutes, four hundred 
men being one-third of their entire force. And still, 
one more attempt was made at the escarpment near the 
river; but here also the Americans were on the alert. 
Armed galleys in the stream opened a raking fire at 


short range, and dispersed the assailants. Two British 
ships the Augusta (64-gim man-of-war) , and the Merlin 
(frigate), which had been so disposed as to aid the as 
sault, grounded. On the next day, the former took fire 
from a hot shot, and blew up, before her entire crew 
could escape ; and the Merlin was burned, to avoid 
capture. The American loss was fourteen killed and 
twenty-one wounded. Colonel Donop was buried care 
fully by Major Fleury, a French officer in the American 
service, and his grave at the south end of the old works 
is still an object of interest to visitors. Colonel Greene, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, and Commodore Hazlewood of 
the galley service, received from Washington and from 
Congress worthy testimonials for " gallant conduct." 

In the meantime, the British had found two solid points 
of land amid the marshy ground at the mouth of the 
Schuylkill River, within cannon-range of Fort Mifflin, 
where they constructed two heavy batteries bearing 
upon that fort. Four 32-pounders from the Somerset 
and six 24-pounders from the Eagle, with one 13- 
inch mortar, were added to works erected on Province 
Island, to bring a more direct fire upon the fort than 
could be secured from the batteries at the mouth of the 
Schuylkill River. (See map.) 

In order to anticipate a possible movement of troops 
into New Jersey, in case of a successful assault upon 
Fort Mifflin, Washington ordered General Yarnum s 
brigade to take post at Woodbury, near Red Bank, and 
General Forman to rally the New Jersey militia to his 
support. But the British made no attempt to land. The 
later assault upon the fort, made on the tenth, was suc 
cessful. Seven ships of the British fleet joined in the 
attack ; among them the Somerset, the Roebuck, and the 
Pearl, which had taken part in operations before Boston 
and New York. Lieutenant -Colonel Smith was wounded 


early in the action and removed to Fort Mercer, Major 
Thayer succeeding to the command. Major Fleury, who 
planned the works, was also wounded ; and after a loss of 
two hundred and fifty men, the remnant of the garrison, 
on the night of the fifteenth, retired to Fort Mercer. At 
dawn of the sixteenth, the Grenadiers of the Royal Guards 
occupied the island. 

The Report of Washington upon this action thus honors 
the brave defenders of Fort Mifflin : " The defence will 
always reflect the highest honor upon the officers and men 
of the garrison. The works were entirely beat down ; 
every piece of cannon was dismounted, and one of the 
enemy s ships came so near that she threw grenades from 
her tops into the fort, and killed men upon the platforms, 
before they quitted the island." 

On the eighteenth, General Cornwallis landed at Bil- 
lingsport in force, and Washington sent General Greene 
to take command of the troops in New Jersey and check 
his progress ; but the demonstration was so formidable 
that the garrison evacuated the works. The Americans, 
unable to save their galleys, set fire to them near Glouces 
ter Point ; and the British fleet gained the freedom of the 
Delaware River. 

During this movement, Lafayette, intrusted with a 
detachment of troops by General Greene, had several 
skirmishes with the enemy, and on the first of December 
was assigned to command of the division left without a 
commander by the dismissal of Stephen. While Corn 
wallis was on this detached service, four general officers 
of Washington s army against eleven dissenting voted to 
attack General Howe. The incident, occurring at such 
a period, is noteworthy. 

Late in October, the American army advanced from 
Perkiomy to White Marsh ; General Varnum s Rhode 
Island Brigade, twelve hundred strong, reported for 


duty, as well as about a thousand additional troops from 
Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Generals Gates 
and Putnam still retained troops for their semi-independ 
ent commands ; and General Gates, in particular, only 
grudgingly sent such as were peremptorily ordered to 
report to Washington. It was not until Colonel Hamil 
ton, Aide-de-camp, visited him in person, that Gates 
sent the troops which were absolutely indispensable at 
army headquarters, and as absolutely useless at Albany. 
His ostentatious proclamation of his military success over 
Burgoyne, and his criticism of the tardiness and non- 
efficiency of his Commander-in-Chief, began to expose his 
renewed aspirations to succeed to the chief command. 

On the fourth of December, General Howe with a force 
of fourteen thousand men, accompanied by Generals 
Knyphausen and Cornwallis, advanced to Chestnut Hill, 
within three miles of the right of the American army, 
and slight skirmishing ensued. On the seventh, the 
British troops left Chestnut Hill, and took a position at 
Edge Hill near the American left. Morgan, just arrived 
from the northern army, and the Maryland militia under 
Colonel Mordecai Gist (subsequently Brigadier-General) 
had a sharp skirmish with Cornwallis, losing forty-four 
men and inflicting an equal loss upon the enemy. 
Major-General Gray and the Queen s Rangers inflicted a 
loss of about fifty men upon an advance post of the 
American left ; and when night came on, the British pickets 
were within a half mile of the American lines, where bat 
tle was awaited with satisfaction and hopeful expectancy. 
But on the morning of the eighth, the British camp disap 
peared, for Howe had suddenly returned to Philadelphia. 

Howe s Report, dated December 13th, reads as follows : 
rr Upon the presumption that a forward movement might 
tempt the enemy, after receiving such a reenforcement 
[reported afterwards as four thousand men] , to give battle 


for the recovery of this place [Philadelphia] ; or, that a 
vulnerable part might be found to admit of an attack 
upon their camp ; the army marched out on the night of 
the fourth instant." It was afterwards learned that Howe 
had full knowledge of the jealous spirit then existing tow 
ards Washington, and that several of his generals favored 
an attack upon Philadelphia, against his better judgment. 
Washington, in noticing Howe s movement, says : " I 
sincerely wish that they had made the attack ; as the 
issue, in all probability, from the disposition of our 
troops and the strong position of our camp, would have 
been fortunate and happy. At the same time, I must 
add, that reason, prudence, and every principle of policy, 
forbid us quitting our post to attack them. Nothing but 
success would have justified the measure ; and this could 
not be expected from their position." 

The army of Washington, nominally eleven thousand 
strong, had, says Baron De Kalb, but seven thousand 
effective men for duty, so general was the sickness, from 
extreme cold and the want of sufficient clothing and other 
necessaries of a campaign. And yet, under these condi 
tions, Congress placed in responsible positions those 
officers who were most officiously antagonistic to the 
American Commander-in-Chief. On the sixth of Novem 
ber, Gates had been made President of the Board of 
War. Miniin, withdrawn from duty as Quartermaster- 
General, was also placed upon the Board, retaining his 
full rank. On the twenty-eighth of December, Congress 
appointed Con way Major-General and Inspector-General, 
and placed him in communication Avith the Board of War, 
to act independently of the Commander-in-Chief. Lee, 
then a prisoner of war, through letters addressed to 
Gates, Mifflin, Wayne and Conway, united with them in 
concerted purpose to oppose the policy of Washington, 
and to dictate his action ; and more than this, there was a 


strong influence brought to bear upon Congress to force 
Washington s resignation, or removal from command. 

Washington, however, established his headquarters at 
Valley Forge, twenty-one miles from Philadelphia ; and 
on the nineteenth of December announced his winter 
quarters by a formal order. On the same day he sent 
General Smallwood to Wilmington, to occupy the country 
south of Philadelphia and cut off supplies for that city 
and its garrison. McDougall was established at Peeks- 
kill. Putnam was on the shore of Long Island Sound 
until the middle of December, when he was ordered back 
to the Highlands. The absence of General Mifflin from 
the army, and his total neglect of duty as Quartermaster- 
General, in which he had once been so efficient, 
" caused," says Washington, " the want of two days 
supply of provisions, and thereby cost an opportunity 
scarcely ever offered, of taking an advantage of the 

It was an hour of deep distress to Washington, Avhen, 
on the twenty-third day of December, 1777, he felt com 
pelled to advise Congress of the condition of his army : 
" The numbers had been reduced since the fourth of the 
month, only three weeks, two thousand men, from hard 
ship and exposure. Two thousand eight hundred and 
ninety-eight were unfit for duty, because barefoot and 
otherwise naked. Only eight thousand two hundred 
men were present for duty." He added : "We have not 
more than three months in which to prepare a great 
deal of business. If we let them slip, or Avaste, we shall 
be laboring under the same difficulties in the next cam 
paign as we have in this, to rectify mistakes and bring 
things to order. Military arrangements and movements, 
in consequence, like the mechanism of a clock, will be im 
perfect and disordered by the want of any part" The con 
cluding clause, italicized, illustrates one of his peculiar 

[From the painting by Scheuster.] 


characteristics never to slight the humblest man or 
agency in his country s service, and never to count any 
duty too small to be done well. 

At this time, the Assembly of Pennsylvania began to 
snuff up some of the malarious odors of selfish and sense 
less gossip. They even remonstrated against his going 
into winter quarters at all. His reply was not wanting 
in directness and clearness. It reads as follows : " Gen 
tlemen reprobate the going into winter quarters as much 
as if they thought the soldiers were made of sticks, or 
stones. I can assure those gentlemen that it is a much 
easier and less distressing thing to remonstrate in a com 
fortable room, than to occupy a cold bleak hill, and sleep 
under frost and snow, without clothing or blankets. 
However, as they seem to have little feeling for the 
naked and distressed soldiers, I feel superabundantly 
for them, and from my soul I pity their miseries which 
it is neither in my power to relieve, or prevent." 

On the twenty-sixth, General Sullivan, who generally 
kept aloof from active participation in the movements of 
the intriguing class of officers, urged Washington to 
"make an attempt upon Philadelphia, and risk every 
consequence, in an action." General Sullivan meant 
well ; but the reader will recognize the characteristic 
style of this officer under circumstances of special doubt 
as to " what is to be done next." But Washington 
never wavered in his purpose. On the thirtieth of 
December, Baron De Kalb was appointed Inspector-Gen 
eral, vice Con way, resigned. Washington closed the 
year at Valley Forge. The twelve months since he re 
crossed the Delaware at Trenton and out-ffeneraled 


Lord Cornwallis, had indeed been eventful. Once more, 
amid snow and cold, surrounded by faithful but suffering 
thousands, he plans for other perils and exposure ; before 
the goal of his desire, substantial victory, could bring 


to them and to his beloved country the boon of realized 
independence. And yet, unknown to him, two days be 
fore he occupied the barren site of Valley Forge a thrill 
ing event occurred beyond the Atlantic Ocean, and one 
which was, in the providence of God, to verify the 
soldier s faith, and secure for him final victory. 

As early as December 2d, the tidings of Burgoyne s 
disaster reached the royal palace of George III. Fox, 
Burke, and Eichmond favored immediate peace, and such 
an alliance, or Federal Union, as would be for the mate 
rial interests of both countries. Burke solemnly declared 
that "peace upon any honorable terms was injustice due 
to both nations." But the king adjourned Parliament to 
the twentieth of January, 1778. 

Meanwhile a speedy ship from Boston was on the high 
seas, bound for France, and the account of Burgoyne s 
surrender was received by the American Commissioners. 
On the twelfth of the month it was announced to the 
Count de Vergennes, Minister for Foreign Affairs at the 
French Court. The sensation throughout Paris was 
intense. "Europe need no longer dread the British 
power, since her very Colonies have successfully defied 
unjust laws, and equally defied her power to enforce 
them." This was the public utterance. One pregnant 
sentence already cited, that of Count de Vergennes, proved 
the incentive to immediate action. " Saratoga " and " Ger- 
mantown " were coupled in a message sent to Spain, to 
solicit her co-operation. Without any real sympathy 
with America, Spain had already discriminated in favor 
of American privateers which took prizes to her ports. 

But France did not await reply before announcing her 
own action. And just when Washington was gathering 
his weary army into humble huts for partial shelter and 
rest, and while his tired spirit was pained by the small 
jealousies which impaired the value of his personal ser- 


vice and sacrifice, and threatened the harmony of his 
entire command, a new ally and friend had taken him to 
heart ; and Louis XVI. was dropping into the scales both 
the prestige and the power of France, to vindicate and 
accomplish American liberty. On that day, December 
17, 1777, Gerard, one of the secretaries of Count de 
Yergennes, announced to Benjamin Franklin and Silas 
Deane, two American Commissioners, "by the King s 
order, "that the King of France, in Council, had de 
termined not only to acknoAvledge, but to support Ameri 
can independence." 

The declaration of the Duke of Richmond, already cited, 
which predicted "the application of the Colonists to 
strangers for aid, if Parliament authorized the hire of 
Hessians," had been realized. 



MR. CHARLES STEDMAN, who served on the 
staffs of Generals Howe, Clinton and Cornwallis, 
during the Revolutionary War, in an interesting historical 
narrative states that Pr the British army enlivened the dull 
times of their winter residence in Philadelphia, with the 
dance-house, the theatre, and the game of faro." But it 
is equally true that this large license which relieved the 
monotony of garrison life, gradually aroused disgust and 
positive hatred on the part of the citizens of that city. 
No diversions in force against the American position, or 
their chief outposts, were possible, since the garrison must 
be alert for any sudden attack upon the city. The large 
number of wealthy royalist families had much to dread 
from the possible capture of their dwelling-place. Scout 
ing parties from Washington s army pressed so closely to 
the city limits, at times, that occasional efforts of small de 
tachments to secure wood for fuel and cooking purposes, 
were admonished, that the limit of their picket-lines was 
their boundary of possession and safe enjoyment. Carriage 
drives and daily saddle exercise, which were favorite 
recreations, had to be abandoned. They were unsafe ; as 
Washington s cavalry, scouts and artillery needed all the 
horses that were not needed by the farmers for farm use. 

The American army drilled daily, under the patient 
instruction of Baron Steuben, so far as they had clothing 
and shoes for that purpose ; while their comrades sat down 



or laid themselves down by log fires and burning stumps, 
to avoid freezing to death. 

After the camp was fully established, and Washington 
had asserted his purpose to command, and allow no inter 
ference by civilians of whatever pretension, or by mili 
tary men of whatever rank, the antagonism of the 
previous months gradually retired from public exhibition. 
It never drew breath from popular sympathy, and the sol 
diers regarded his censors as their enemies. And so it was, 
that in spite of sickness, wretchedness, inevitable deser 
tions and frequent deaths, the soldiers were kept to duty, 
and acquired toughness and knowledge for future en 
deavor. A calm reliance upon the future, and a straight 
forward way of dealing with men and measures, were still 
vindicating the fitness of Washington for the supreme 

To the demand of the British Government for the 
reasons of the inactivity of the British army, General 
Howe replied that, he " did not attack the intrenched 
position at Valley Forge, a strong point, during the 
severe season, although everything was prepared with 
that intention, judging it imprudent until the season 
should afford a prospect of reaping the advantages that 
ought to have resulted from success in that measure ; 
but having good information in the spring that the 
enemy had strengthened the camp by additional works, 
and being certain of moving him from thence when the 
campaign should open, he dropped thought of attack." 

During the winter, a proposition for the invasion of 
Canada was again under consideration ; and General 
Lafayette, with other officers, visited Albany and the 
northern army to see what arrangements were both avail 
able and desirable for that purpose. It was soon dropped ; 
and was never fully favored by Washington. 1 

1 "Battles of the American Revolution," p. 461. 


During January, Congress sent a committee to visit 
Valley Forge. As the result, Washington s whole policy 
was indorsed and their support was pledged. Baron Steu- 
ben, recommended by the Commander-in-Chief, was con 
firmed as Major-General without a dissenting vote. 
Conway started for France early in April. The histor 
ical " Conway cabal " had lost its most unprincipled 
abettor. On the fourth of April, Congress authorized 
Washington to call upon Pennsylvania, Maryland and 
New Jersey, for five thousand additional militia. On the 
ninth, General Howe received his recall to England. 
On the tenth, Lafayette returned to camp. On the thir 
teenth, General McDougall accompanied Count Kosciusko 
to West Point, to perfect the fortifications at that post. 
On the fifteenth, Gates was placed in command at 

When the spring opened at Valley Forge, the proposi 
tions of the many generals, respecting the approaching 
campaign, were as diverse and varied as the leafage of the 
forest. As the mind recalls the relations of these officers 
to earlier campaigns, it will be seen how essential to any 
real success was the presence of a strong-willed Com 
mander-in-Chief. It is especially to be noticed, that men 
whose judgment had been accredited as uniformly con 
servative and yet energetic radically differed as to the 
immediate objective of army action. It settles beyond 
question the principle that the entire war, and the entire 
country, had to be made of paramount consideration, in 
the decision of any important movement. 

Wayne, Patterson and Maxwell recommended an imme 
diate attack upon Philadelphia. Knox, Poor, Varnum 
and Muhlenburg advised an attack upon New York, with 
four thousand regulars and Eastern militia, Washington 
in command ; leaving Lee to command in Pennsylvania, 
while the main army should remain at Valley Forge. 


Stirling recommended operations against both Philadel 
phia and New York. Lafayette, Steuben and Du Portail 
expressed doubts as to making any aggressive movement 
whatever, until the army should be strengthened or the 
British unfold their plans. This wise suggestion was 
also the opinion of Washington. 

On the seventh of May, the British ascended the Dela 
ware and destroyed public stores at Bordentown. Max 
well and Dickenson had been sent across the river for 
the protection of these stores ; but heavy rains delayed 
their inarch, and forty-four vessels, including several 
frigates on the stocks, were burned. 

But the seventh day of May, 1778, was not a day of 
gloom at Valley Forge. Spring had fairly opened, and 
the forest began to don its new attire for a fresh summer 
campaign. At nine o clock in the morning, the entire 
army Avas on parade, with drums beating, colors flying 
and salutes echoing among the hills. The brigades were 
steady in their ranks. No brilliant uniforms were con 
spicuous anywhere, and many had neither coats nor 
shoes. The pomp and circumstance of war were missing. 
There was no display of gold lace, or finery of any kind. 
Strongly marked faces and tough muscles showed the fixed 
ness of purpose of these troops. But it was an occasion 
of rare interest. This American army was in line, for 
the reception of a visitor from over the sea. The visitor 
was a herald sent by Louis XVI., King of France, to 
announce to Washington and the American people that an 
armed alliance between France and the United States of 
America had been consummated. The French frigate 
Le Sensible had landed at Fal mouth (Portland), Me., 
with this messenger, and the American army was drawn 
up in battle array to receive his message. The chaplain 
of each brigade proclaimed the treaty and read its terms. 
It was one of those occasions, not infrequent during the 


war, and habitual to Washington throughout his mature 
life, when he had no way through which to express his 
deepest anxieties or profoundest sense of gratitude, other 
than that of communion with God. And now, the lis 
tening army was called upon to unite in one "grand 
thanksgiving to Almighty God that He had given to 
America this friend." The scene that followed can never 
be described. It can only be imagined and felt. Huzzas 
for the King, of France mingled with shouts for Washing 
ton, whose face, as described by one, "shone as did that 
of Moses, when he descended from the Mount." Caps 
were tossed high in air. Hand-shaking, leaping, clapping 
of hands, and every homely sign of joy and confident 
expectation, followed. Washington had dismounted. He 
stood with folded arms calm, serene, majestic, silent. 
For several moments the whole army stood, awaiting his 
action. He remounted his horse, and a single word to 
his assembled staff quickly ran through the lines that 
the Commander-in-Chief proposed that all should speak 
together, by the soldier s method, through powder. No 
matter if powder were scarce. Every cannon, wherever 
mounted about the long circuit of intrenchments, roared ; 
and the hills carried the echoes to British headquarters. 
Throughout the lines of division and brigade, to the re 
motest picket post, a running fire at will closed with one 
grand volley ; and then the camp of Valley Forge resumed 
the " business " of preparing for battle. 

With the opening of the spring of 1778, General Howe 
also was moved to action. His winter supplies, as well 
as those procurable from the fleet and the city, had been 
expended. * The storehouses were empty." Detach 
ments, large and small, were sent to scour the country. 
To cut off and restrict these detachments, General La 
fayette was intrusted with a special command of twenty- 


four hundred men, and advanced to Barren Hill, about 
half the distance to Philadelphia. It also formed a corps 
of observation, and was the first independent command 
of that officer under his commission as Major-General. 
He was especially instructed to note signs of the evacua 
tion of Philadelphia, which Washington regarded as a 
military necessity on the part of General Howe. The 
American Commander-in-Chief, although reticent of his 
own opinions, rarely failed to read other men accurately, 
and rightly read Lafayette. With singular enthusiasm, 
great purity of character, unswerving fidelity to obliga 
tion, and a thorough contempt for everything mean or 
dishonorable, this young French gentleman combined a 
keen sagacity, sound judgment, prompt execution, and 
an intense love for liberty. 

Having taken position at Barren Hill, Lafayette at 
once introduced a system of communication with parties 
in the city of Philadelphia. He had with him fifty Indian 
scouts, and Captain McLean s Light troops. A company 
of dragoons had also been ordered to join him. General 
Howe had been relieved from duty on the eleventh, by 
General Clinton ; who signalized his accession to com 
mand by a series of brilliant fetes in honor of his pred 
ecessor, on the eve of his departure for England. A 
regatta on the Delaware ; a tournament on land : trium 
phal arches ; decorated pavilions ; mounted ladies, with 
their escorts in Turkish costume ; slaves in fancy habits ; 
knights, esquires, heralds, and every brilliant device, 
made the day memorable from earliest dawn until dark. 
And after dark, balls, illuminations both upon water and 
land, fireworks, wax-lights, flowers and fantastic drapery, 
cheered the night hours, " exhibiting," as described by 
Andre himself, master of ceremonies, "a coup d ceil^ 
beyond description magnificent." The procession of 
knights and maidens was led by Major Andre and Miss 


Shippen, the beautiful daughter of one of the wealthiest 
royalists in Philadelphia. She long retained the title of 
the " belle of the Michianza fetes" She subsequently 
became the wife of General Arnold ; and the incidents 
thus grouped show how felicitous was Clinton s subse 
quent choice of Andre to negotiate with Arnold the ex 
change of West Point, for " gold and a brigadier-general s 
commission in the British army." 

During the evening of this luxurious entertainment, and 
while at supper, General Clinton announced to his officers 
his intention to march at daybreak to Barren Hill, and 
bring back for their next evening s guest, the distin 
guished French officer, Marquis de Lafayette. At four 
o clock on the morning of the nineteenth, when the twenty 
hours of hilarity, adulation and extravagance closed, 
General Clinton, accompanied by Generals Grant, Gray, 
and Erskine, and five thousand picked troops, marched 
to capture Lafayette. General Gray crossed the Schuyl- 
kill with two thousand men to cut off Lafayette s retreat, 
in case Clinton successfully attacked in front. Washing 
ton advanced sufficiently to observe the movement of 
General Gray, and signalled with cannon to Lafayette 
of his danger ; but Lafayette, by occupying a stone 
church and other buildings, and showing false fronts of 
columns as if about to take the offensive, caused the 
advance column of Grant to halt for reinforcements ; and 
then retired safely with the loss of but nine men. La 
fayette gives an amusing account of portions of the 
skirmish : " When my Indian scouts suddenly confronted 
an equal number of British dragoons, the mutual surprise 
was such that both fled with equal haste." The officers 
and men of Lafayette s command were greatly elated by 
his conduct of the affair, especially as he was at one time 
threatened by a force more than twice that of his entire 
division ; and the confidence thus acquired followed his 


service through the entire war. The congratulations of 
Washington were as cordial upon his return, as those of 
the officers of the Philadelphia garrison were chilling upon 
the return of Clinton, without Lafayette as prisoner. 

On the same day, General Mifflin rejoined the army, 
hi writing to Gouverneur Morris of New York, the Amer 
ican Comma nder-in-Chief, noticing the event, expresses 
his surprise * to find a certain gentleman who some time 
ago, when a heavy cloud hung over us and our affairs 
looked gloomy, was desirous of resigning, to be now 
stepping forward in the line of the army" ; adding : " If he 
can reconcile such conduct to his own feelings as an officer, 
and a man of honor, and Congress have no objection to 
his leaving his seat in another department, I have nothing 
personally to oppose to it. Yet, I must think that 
gentlemen s stepping in, and out, as the sun happens to 
beam out, or become obscure, isn t quite the thing, nor 
quite just, with respect to those officers who take the 
bitter with the sweet." 

By this time, the movements of shipping, and within 
the city, clearly indicated the design of the British to 
abandon Philadelphia without battle. A Council of War 
was convened on the twentieth, to hear reports upon the 
condition of the various American armies ; and Generals 
Gates, Greene, Stirling, Mifflin, Lafayette, Armstrong, 
Steuben and DC Kalb were present. The opinion was 
unanimous that the army should remain on the defensive, 
and await the action of the British commander. On the 
twentieth, also, General Lee rejoined the army. He had 
been exchanged on the twenty-first of April for Major- 
General Prescott, who had been captured five miles above 
Newport, R.I., on the night of July 20, 1777. Lee had 
been placed on his parole as early as the twenty-fifth of 
March, and he actually visited York, where Congress was 
in session, on the ninth of April. 


The relations of Charles Lee to the Avar were as marked 
as were those of Arnold, except that Arnold rendered 
valuable service until he turned traitor. During the 


month of February, 1777, Lee secured permission from 
General Howe to write letters to Congress, urging that 
body to "send commissioners to confer confidentially con 
cerning the national cause." On the twenty-first of 
February, Congress declined to send such commissioners, 
as " altogether improper" ; and they could " not perceive 
how compliance with his wish would tend to his advantage, 
or the interests of the public/ Letters were also written 
in March ; and in one addressed to Washington on the 
fifth of April, 1777, Lee had written : " I think it a most 
unfortunate circumstance for myself, and I think no less 
so for the public, that the Congress have not thought 
proper to comply with my request. It could not possibly 
have been attended with any ill consequences, and might 
have been with good ones. At least, it was an indulgence 
which I thought my situation entitled me to. But I am 
unfortunate in everything, and this stroke is the severest 
I have ever experienced. God send you a different fate." 
The answer of Washington was as follows : " T have 
received your letter of this date, and thank you, as T 
shall any officer, over whom I have the honor to be 
placed, for their opinions and advice in matters of im 
portance ; especially when they proceed from the foun 
tain of candor, and not from a captious spirit, or an 
itch for criticism ; and here, let me again 

assure you, that I shall always be happy to be in a 
free communication of your sentiments upon any im 
portant subject relative to the service, and only beg- 
that they may come directly to myself. The custom 
which many officers have, of speaking freely of things, 
and reprobating measures which upon investigation 
may be found to be unavoidable, is never produc- 


tivc of good ; but often, of very mischievous conse 

During the year 1872 George H. Moore, of the New 
York Historical Society, brought to light a certain paper 
indorsed, "Mr. Lee s Plan, 29th March, 1777," which 
was found among the papers of the brothers Howe, Brit 
ish Commissioners at New York. Lee was at that date 
a prisoner of war, but at the same time a British officer 
who had been taken in rebellion to the British crown. 
This letter is noticed, in order to make more intelli 
gible the subsequent relations of Lee to the American 
Commander-in-Chief. The following is an extract : " It 
appears to me, that by the continuance of the war, 
America has no chance of obtaining its ends. As I am 
not only persuaded, from the high opinion I have of the 
humanity and good sense of Lord and Admiral Howe, 
that the terms of accommodation will be as moderate as 
their powers will admit ; but that their powers are more 
ample than their successor would be tasked with, I think 
myself not only justifiable, but bound in conscience, in 
furnishing em all the light I can, to enable em to bring 
matters to a conclusion in the most commodious manner. 
I know the most generous use will be made of it in all 
respects. Their humanity will incline em to have con 
sideration for individuals who have acted from principle." 
Then follow hypothetical data as to troops required on 
the part of Britain, and these passages : " If the Prov 
ince of Maryland, or the greater part of it, is reduced, or 
submits, and the people of Virginia are prevented, or in 
timidated, from marching aid to the Pennsylvania army, 
the whole machine is divided, and a period put to the 
war; and if the plan is adopted in full, I am so confi 
dent of success, that I would stake my life on the same. 
Apprehensions from Carleton s army will, I am confi 
dent, keep the New Englanders at home, or at least, con- 


tine em to that side of the river. I would advise that 
four thousand men be immediately embarked in trans 
ports, one half of which should proceed up the Potomac 
and take post at Alexandria, the other half up Chesa 
peake Bay and possess themselves of Annapolis." The 
relations of various posts to the suggested movement, 
and the character of the German population of Pennsyl 
vania who would be apprehensive of injury to their fine 
farms, were urged in favor of his " plan " for terminat 
ing the war on terms of "moderate accommodation." 

The reply of Washington to General Lee s letter is a 
very distinct notice that he was advised of the letters 
written by him to Gates and others, derogatory of the 
action of his superior officer, the Commander-in-Chief. 

The return of Lee to duty found the American army in 
readiness to bid its last farewell to the camp at Valley 
Forge ; but the ordeals through which so many brave 
men passed, for their country s sake, were hardly more 
severe than were those through which their beloved Com 
mander-in-Chief passed into a clearer future, and the 
well-earned appreciation of mankind. 




THE abandonment of Philadelphia by the British 
army, as anticipated by Washington, had become a 
military necessity. The city was too remote from the 
coast, unless its army of occupation could be so reen- 
forced as to be independent of support from the British 
base at New York. The reinforcements of troops called 
for by General Howe had not been and could not have 
been furnished. The recommendation of General Am- 
herst, military adviser of George III., "that forty 
thousand men be sent to America immediately," had been 
positively disapproved. It was therefore of vital impor 
tance that General Clinton should reach New York with 
the least possible delay. Any attempt to return by sea 
was obviously impracticable. 

The incidents of the evacuation of Philadelphia were 
similar to those which marked the departure of Howe 
from Boston. The embarkation of three thousand citi 
zens with their families, their merchandise, and their 
personal effects, upon vessels, to accompany the retiring 
fleet, was a moral lesson of vast significance. This with 
drawal of the British garrison was no ruse, to entice the 
American army from its camp, for battle, but a surrender 
of the field itself, without a struggle. It announced to 
America and to the world, that the British army lacked 
the ability to meet the contingencies of field-service, 



either in Pennsylvania or New Jersey ; and that loyalists 
would be left to their own resources for protection and 

Other considerations precipitated the action of Clinton. 
Congress had publicly announced the impending arrival 
of a formidable French fleet from the West Indies ; and, 
as a matter of fact, so immediate was its advent, that the 
advance frigates entered the Delaware Bay, just after 
Admiral Howe turned Cape May, on his return to New 
York. Meanwhile, every movement in the city was 
hourly reported to Washington by his secret messengers, 
and by families who kept constantly in touch with all 
movements of the garrison. Hardly a ball or social 
dinner, during the entire winter, was without the pres 
ence of one or more of his representatives, who as 
promptly reported the secret influences which were 
making of the city a deadly prison-house for the Brit 
ish troops. Even at the playhouses, comedians had 
begun to jest upon the "foraging of the rebel scouts"; 
and it is said to have been hinted, on one occasion, that 
" there were chickens and eggs in abundance outside the 
lines, if the soldiers would take the trouble to go after 
them," and that " it was hardly the right thing to let 
Washington s ragged army have the pick of all country 

The actual evacuation began at three o clock on the 
morning of June eighteenth, and the entire British army 
was on the New Jersey side of the Delaware by ten o clock. 
Washington had so closely calculated the movement, that 
General Maxwell s brigade and the New Jersey militia 
were already at work burning bridges and felling trees 
across the roads, in order to delay Clinton s march and 
afford an opportunity for attacking his retiring columns. 
General Arnold, whose wound still prevented field- 
service, entered the city with a strong detachment as the 


British rear-guard left. Twelve miles of baggage-train, 
loaded with everything of army supplies that could be 
heaped upon wagons, formed the long-extended caravan 
which accompanied nearly eighteen thousand British 
veterans as they returned to New York, whence they 
had started only eleven months before. The capture of 
the American capital and the destruction of the American 
army had been their fondest desire. Now, they shrunk 
away from the same American capital as from a pest- 
house. There was no longer an eager search to find 
Washington. To make the earliest safe distance from his 
presence, or his reach, was the incentive to the speediest 
possible travel. It was no longer the destruction of that 
one principal American army that engrossed thought and 
stimulated energy ; but how to save the British army 
itself, for efficient service elsewhere. And Washington, 
although fully appreciating the British situation, did not 
know the fact that the British cabinet were actually dis 
cussing, at that very time, the propriety of transferring all 
active operations to the more sparsely settled regions of 
the South. 

The movements in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as 
well as those of Burgoyne, away from the seacoast, recall 
an emphatic communication from General Howe, which 
contained this practical statement : " Almost every move 
ment in America was an act of enterprise, clogged with 
innumerable difficulties. A knowledge of the country, 
intersected, as it everywhere is, by woods, mountains, 
water or morasses, cannot be obtained with any degree of 
precision necessary to foresee and guard against the con 
tingencies that may occur." 

Washington was also fully advised of the character and 
e-xtent of Clinton s retiring column, and of the opportu 
nity which the country afforded for breaking it up. Haste 
was the need of Clinton. His delay, however slight, 


Washington s opportunity. Clinton reached Haddonfield 
the same day. The militia of Maxwell made a short 
resistance, and then retired to Mount Holy Pass. The 
increased British vanguard compelled him to fall back ; 
but the destruction of bridges and interposed obstructions, 
together with the excessive summer heat, made the march 
of the British troops one of intense strain and exhaustion. 
And yet, Clinton used such vigor in pressing forward to 
anticipate more formidable obstructions, that he reached 
Crosswicks before the destruction of the bridge at that 
point was complete ; and on the morning of the twenty- 
fourth, his army crossed the creek. The column of Lieu- 
tenant-General Knyphausen went into camp at Imlay s 
Town ; while that of Clinton occupied Allentown, and 
thereby effectively covered the advance division in case 
of an American attack from the north. At this point, he 
learned that Washington had already crossed the Dela 
ware, and that the northern army was expected to unite 
with that of the American Commander-in-Chief. Such a 
combination, just then, would render a direct retreat to 
New York, via Princeton and Brunswick, extremely haz 
ardous, if not impossible. With the promptness which 
characterized him, Sir Henry Clinton consolidated his 
baggage and sent it in advance under Lieutenant-General 
Knyphausen ; placed the second division in light marching 
order, under his own personal command, in the rear, and 
took the Monmouth route to the sea. (See map.) 

Washington Avas quickly advised of this organic change 
in the British formation, and acted instantly. He had 
crossed the Delaware River at CoryelPs Ferry, forty miles 
above Philadelphia, without assurance of the definite pur 
pose of his adversary. Any other route of march by 
Clinton than by Brunswick, would prevent him from 
receiving military support from New York, and hold him 
to the limit of supplies with which he started from Phila- 


dolphia. When, therefore, couriers from Maxwell noti 
fied Washington of Clinton s diversion eastward, from 
Crosswicks, it was evident that Clinton would take no 
risks of battle in reaching New York, or some port on the 
coast accessible by a British fleet. 

Colonel Morgan was sent with five hundred men to 
reenforce Maxwell. On the twenty-fourth, General Scott, 
with fifteen hundred chosen troops, was despatched to 
reenforce those in the immediate vicinity of the enemy, 
more effectually to retard their retreat. On the twenty- 
sixth, Washington moved the entire army to Kingston ; 
and learning that the British army was moving directly 
toward Monmouth, advanced an additional force of one 
thousand men under General Wayne, placing General La- 
. fayette in command of the entire corps, including the 
Brigade of Maxwell and Morgan s Light Infantry. Orders 
were also sent to Lafayette : " Take the first opportunity 
to strike the rear of the enemy." 

Some writers have involuntarily followed Lee s theory, 
that the attempt by Washington to stop Clinton s re 
treat and to defeat so large and so well-appointed an army 
as that of the British general, was folly from the start ; 
but such critics overlook the determining facts of the situ 
ation. Washington never counted numbers so much as 
conditions. He never swerved from a steady purpose to 
wear out superior numbers by piecemeal, until they 
were at his mercy or so benumbed by his strokes as to 
yield the field. Hence it is seen, that with all his ap 
proaches to the retiring columns of Clinton, he never 
failed to hold in complete reserve and mastery every con 
ceivable contingency of a general engagement. More 
over, as a matter of fact, his army, reenforced from the 
north, was not inferior in numbers ; was unencumbered 
with baggage, and was not exposed to attack. A fight 
was a matter of choice, and not at the option of the 


enemy. It is therefore of essential interest to notice how 
systematically Washington advanced in this memorable 
campaign of Clinton s March to the Sea. It is of equal 
interest to notice the development of the career of La 
fayette, under Washington s supervision and confidence ; 
since America is more indebted to this discreet and gal 
lant officer than to any other, for the immediate service 
which assured the surrender of Cor wall is at Yorktown, 
three years later in the war. 

At half-past four of the afternoon of June 20th, La 
fayette and Wayne were at Robin s tavern. Lafayette 
thus wrote to the Commander-in-Chief : " I have consulted 
the general officers of this detachment, and the general 
opinion seems to be, that I should march in the night, 
near them [the enemy] , so as to attack the rear-guard on 
the march. Your excellency knows that by the direct 
road you are only three miles further from Monmouth 
than we are in this place. Some prisoners have been 
made, and deserters are coming in very fast." 

Second despatch, 5 o clock P.M. : " General Forman 
is firmly of opinion, that we may overtake the enemy. 
It is highly pleasant to be followed and countenanced by 
the army ; that, if we stop the enemy and meet with 
some advantage, they may push it with vigor. I 
have no doubt but if we overtake them, we possess a very 
happy chance." 

Third despatch, dated Ice Town, 26th June, 1778, 
quarter before seven : " When I got there [referring to 
a previously expressed purpose to go to Ice Town for 
provisions] , I was sorry to hear that Mr. Hamilton [Col 
onel Alexander Hamilton of Washington s staff], who 
had been riding all night, had not been able to find any 
one who could give him certain intelligence : but by a 
party who came back, I hear the enemy are in motion 
and their rear about one mile off the place they had occu- 


pied last night, which is seven or eight miles from here. I 
immediately put General Maxwell s and Wayne s brigades 
in motion, and I will fall lower down, with General Scott s 
and Jackson s regiments and some militia. I should 
be very happy if we could attack them before they halt. 
If I cannot overtake them, we could lay at some distance 
and attack them to-morrow morning. . . . If we are 
at a convenience from you, I have nothing to fear in strik 
ing a blow, if opportunity is offered." 

" Special. If you believe it, or if it is believed nec 
essary, or useful, to the good of the service and the 
honor of General Lee, to send him down with a couple 
of thousand men, or any greater force, I will cheerfully 
obey and serve him, not only out of duty, but what I owe 
to that ofentleman s character." 


The explanation of this passage is of interest, as it 
happily illustrates the spirit with which Washington and 
Lafayette operated in this important engagement, where 
very grave discretionary responsibility devolved upon so 
young an officer as the French Marquis. 

Daily conferences were held by Washington with his 
officers after leaving Valley Forge, and especially after 
leaving Kingston. The official Reports of Washington 
show that Lee positively declined the command of this 
advance corps, until its large increase rendered it certain 
that it held a post of honor, and would be pushed upon 
the enemy. Lafayette was first assigned to this com 
mand after a hot debate in council as to the propriety of 
attacking Clinton s army at all ; and General Lee used 
the following language, when the assignment of La 
fayette was made with his concurrence, that " he was 
well pleased to be freed from all responsibility for a plan 
which he was sure would fail." But when Lafayette 
gladly accepted the detail, and was so constantly reenfo reed 
as to have under his command nearly one-third of the army, 


with the pledge of support by the entire army, General 
Lee, as next in rank to Washington, immediately realized 
his grave mistake, and when too late, claimed the command 
by virtue of his rank. He then wrote to General La 
fayette as follows : " It is my fortune and my honor that 
I place in your hands ; you are too generous to cause the 
loss of either." Lafayette, in his Memoirs, thus alludes 
to this surrender by Lee of claim to command by virtue 
of rank, after having peremptorily and scornfully declined 
it : " This tone suited me better " ; and the letter already 
cited was his response. Washington s reply to this 
magnanimous waiver by Lafayette of so honorable a 
command is as follows : ff General Lee s uneasiness on 
account of yesterday s transaction, rather increasing 
than abating, and your politeness in wishing to e*ase him 
of it, have induced me to detach him from this army with 
a part of it, to reenforce, or at least to cover the several 
detachments at present under your command. At the 
same time, I have an eye to your wishes ; and have there 
fore obtained a promise from him, that when he gives you 
notice of his approach and command, he will request you 
to prosecute any plan you may have already concerted for 
the purpose of attacking, or annoying, the enemy. This 
is the only expedient I could think of, to answer the views 
of both. General Lee seems satisfied with this measure." 
On the evening of the twenty-sixth, the entire army 
moved forward, leaving all superfluous baggage, so as 
best to support the advance. On the twenty-seventh, a 
severe rain-storm suspended the march for a few hours. 
But the advance corps had been strengthened, as suggested 
by Lafayette ; and when Lee assumed command it 
numbered fully five thousand effective troops. The main 
army also advanced within three miles of English Town 
and within five miles of the British army. The American 
forces, now eager for battle, were equal in numbers to 


the enemy, with the advantage of being on the flank of 
,the long extended British columns which could not be 
consolidated for action with their full strength. 

A general idea of the skirmishes of the morning, with 
out elaboration of details, can be obtained from the map. 

At the extreme right, on the Middletown road, Knyp- 
hausen conducts the accumulated baggage-train, which, on 
the night of June twenty-seventh, is shown to have been 
distributed along the road approaching Freehold (Mon- 
mouth). Upon the high ground, below, Clinton gathered 
his forces as they arrived from the inarch. Lafayette 
was near the Court House, and had a sharp skirmish with 
the Queen s Rangers. He disposed his army northward, 
Avith skirmishers as far advanced as Bryar Hill even 
threatening the pass by which Knyphausen had retired 
toward New York. The baggage column, as early as 
seven o clock, had passed the Court House. Lee appeared 
upon the field and practically took command, but exe^r- 
cised no direction over movements ; gave contradictory 
orders when he gave any ; and brigade after brigade 
failed to obtain from him instructions as to their move 
ments, or their relations to other brigades. At first, Lee 
announced that the "entire British army was in retreat." 
When Clinton, after eight o clock, descended from his 
position to attack the scattered and irregular formation 
of the American army, Lafayette, full of hope, was first 
advised that a retreat had been ordered by General Lee. 
He protested in vain. The brigades were allowed each 
to seek its own choice of destination ; and all fell back 
under a general impression, rather than specific orders, 
that all were to retreat and simply abandon demonstration 
against the British army. Clinton s continued advance, 
even so far as Wenrock Creek, is indicated on the map. 

The truth of history requires a statement which has 
never been sufficiently defined, as to the antecedents of 


this overestimated officer, Charles Lee. As a subaltern 
in the British army, he had been uniformly insubordinate, 
and was in discredit when he was allowed to go abroad 
and fiofht under various fla^s as a military adventurer. 

o o * 

He knew nothing of handling a large command, or com 
bined commands. Before the Battle of Monmouth, if 
then, he had never been under fire in the lead of Amer 
ican troops. He was cool enough and brave enough at 
Monmouth, to, retreat with his division; but it was saved 
chiefly by the self-possession of its officers, and the 
wonderful endurance of the rank and file. He was un 
equal to the command, even if he had desired battle. To 
have fought the battle, with any chance of being taken 
prisoner, would have exposed him to a double penalty 
for treason at the hands of General Howe. He was in 
the attitude of defeating his "plan" (before alluded to), 
and defeating the very invasion which he had so ingen 
iously advised. 

The increasing cannonading, before noon, aroused 
Washington to his full fighting capacity. The return of an 
aid-de-camp, with the information that General Lee had 
" overtaken the British army and expected to cut off their 
rear-guard," was regarded as an oinen of complete suc 
cess. The soldiers cast oft every incumbrance and made 
a forced march. Greene took the right, and Stirling the 
left ; while Washington in person, conducting the van 
guard, moved directly to the scene of conflict. 

All at once, the animation of the Commander-in-Chief 
lost its impulse. A mounted countryman rode by in fright, 
a wild fugitive. A half-distracted musician, fife in hand, 
cried " All s lost ! " Avfew paces more, and over the brow 
of a small rise of ground overlooking the creek and 
bridge, toward which scattered fragments of regiments 
were pressing, the bald fact needed no other appeal to 
the American Gommander-in-Chief to assure him of the 


necessity for his immediate presence. Harrison and 
Fitzgerald, of his staff, were despatched to learn ^the 
cause of the appearances of fugitives from their respective 
commands. They met Major Ogden, who replied to 
their excited demands, with an expletive : tf They are 
fleeing from a shadow." Officer after officer, detachment 
after detachment, came over the bridge, ambiguous in 
replies, seemingly ignorant of the cause of retreat, only 
that retreat had been ordered. Neither was the move 
ment in the nature of a panic. Hot and oppressive as 
was the dayfthere was simply confusion of all organized 
masses, needing but some competent will to restore them 
to place and duty. 

Washington advanced to the bridge, and allowed 
neither officer nor man to pass him. In turn, he 
met Ramsey, Stewart, Wayne, Oswald, and Living 
ston. To each he gave orders, assigned them posi 
tions, and directed them to face the enemy. Leading 
the way, he placed Ramsey and Stewart, with two guns, 
in the woods to the left, with orders to stop pursuit. On 
the right, back of an orchard, he placed Yarnum, Wayne, 
and Livingston ; while Knox and Oswald, with four guns, 
were establishech~to cover their front. When Maxwell 
and other generals arrived, they were sent to the rear to 
re-form their columns and report back to him for orders. 
Lafayette was intrusted with the formation of a second 
line until he could give the halted troops a position which 
they might hold until he could bring the entire army to 
their support. 

It was such an hour as tests great captains and 
proves soldiers. The ordeal of Valley Forge had made 
soldiers. In the presence of Washington they were 
knit to him as by bands of steel. Company after 
company sprang into fresh formation as if first coming 
on parade. 


With the last retreating detachment, Lee appeared, and 
to his astonished gaze, there was revealed a new forma 
tion of the very troops he had ordered to seek safety in 
retreat. In reply to his demand for the reason of this 
disposition of the troops, he was informed that Washing 
ton, in person, located the troops. He understood that 
his personal command ceased with the arrival of the 
Commander-in-Chief, and he reported for orders. He had 
no time to speak, when he met this stern peremptory 
demand, "What does this mean, sir? Give me instantly 
an explanation of this retreat ! " Appalled by the wrath 
ful manner and awfully stern presence of Washington, 
as with drawn sword he stood in his stirrups, towering 
above the abashed officer, Lee could only answer mechan 
ically, "Sir? Sir?" The demand was repeated with an 
emphasis that , hushed every observer. Washington s 
manner, bearing and tone, are described by those who 
stood awe-bound by the scene, as "more than human." 
It was as if Liberty herself had descended to possess the 
form of her champion ! 

All who felt his presence bent their wills as rushes 
yield to the tempest, so immediate, so irresistible was 
his mastery of the occasion. When the half suppli 
ant officer ventured to explain that " the contradictory 
reports as to the enemy s movements brought about a 
confusion that he could not control," and ventured far 
ther to remind his Commander-in-Chief that he " was 
opposed to it in council, and while the enemy Avas so 
superior in cavalry we could not oppose him," Washing 
ton, with instant self-control, replied: "You should not 
have undertaken it unless prepared to carry it through : 
and whatever your opinions, orders were to be obeyed." 
Again turning to the silent officer, he asked one single 
question. It was this : " Will you remain here in front, 
and retain command while I form the army in the rear ; or 


shall I remain?" Lee remained, until ordered to return 
to- English Town and assist in rallying the fugitives that 
assembled there. It requires more time to outline the 
events of a few precious moments at such a crisis than the 
events themselves occupied. The map discloses the final 
position. Greene was on the right, Stirling was on the 
left where an admirable position of artillery prepared 
him to meet the British columns. Lafayette occupied 
a second line, on slightly higher ground in the rear. 
Greene sent six guns to McComb s Hill, where they could 
direct enfilading fire upon the British colujnns, already 
advancing against the position in which Washington had 
placed Wayne, Varnum and Livingston. 

The real Battle of Monmouth had begun. The British 
forces were repulsed at every point. At the hedge-row, 
three brilliant charges were made, and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Monckton of the British Grenadiers was among the killed. 
As the day advanced, Lee reported in person, and again 
requested "his excellency s pleasure," whether to form his 
division "with the main body, or draw them up in the 
rear." He was ordered to re-form them in the rear of 
English Town, three miles distant. Baron Steuben was 
also on duty at that point. When, about five o clock, all 
cannonading ceased in the direction of the battlefield, 
Colonel Gimat, of Washington s staff, arrived at English 
Town with an order for the advance of the troops which 
had been re-formed under Lee s supervision ; announcing 
that the British were in confusion. Colonel Gimat stated 
in his evidence before the court-martial which subse 
quently tried Lee, that when he communicated this order 
to that officer Lee replied, that "they were only resting 
themselves, and there must be some misunderstanding 
about your being ordered to advance with these troops " ; 
" and it was not until General Muhlenburg halted, and the 
precise orders of Washington were repeated, that Lee 


could understand that the cessation of firing was occa 
sioned by the retreat of Clinton, and not by the defeat of 

During the evening, the American army advanced, 
ready for a general attack upon the British troops, at day 
break. Washington, with a small escort, visited every 
picket. The position was made impregnable, and the 
army was in the best possible spirits for a complete 
victory, and expected victory. 

At 10 o clock at night, Clinton silently broke camp 
and departed for Middletown, where he joined Knyp- 
hausen, reaching New York on the last day of June. 
The British and the American casualties were each about 
three hundred, some of these being deaths from excessive 
heat. It appeared afterwards, that the desertions from 
the British army numbered nearly two thousand men. 

European comments upon this battle were as eulogistic 
of the American Commander-in-Chief as after the battles 
of Trenton, Princeton, and Germantown. The historian 
Gordon says of Washington, upon his reaching the 
battlefield : " He animated his forces by his gallant 
example, and exposed his person to every danger common 
to the meanest soldier ; so that the conduct of the soldiers 
in general, after recovering from the first surprise occa 
sioned by the retreat, could not be surpassed." 

General Lee was tried for disobedience of orders in 
not attacking the enemy ; for misbehavior before the 
enemy ; a disorderly retreat ; and insolent letters sent to 
the Commander-in-Chief, after the battle, and was sen 
tenced to " suspension from command for twelve months." 
A reasonable self-control, which he never had exercised, 
might, even at this crisis of his history, have saved him 
his commission. He died ignominiously, and even in 
his will perpetuated his hatred of religion and his 
Maker. An abstract of the testimony taken upon his 


trial shows that the adjustment of the advance troops 
by General Lafayette was admirable ; that up to the time 
when Lee ordered a retreat without consulting him, all 
the troops were steady in their positions, awaiting some 
systematic orders from Lee, who had just taken com 
mand ; that Lee did not intend to force the battle which 
Lafayette had organized ; that brigades and detachments 
had no information of adjoining commands, or supports; 
that when Lee s orders for a general retreat reached 
brigades, each brigade moved more through example 
than instructions, without direction or intimation of any 
new formation, or any reason for the retreat. 

Recent writers have revived the tradition as to Wash 
ington s alleged profanity at the Battle of Momnouth. It 
would seem that either Charles Lee, or his witnesses, or 
the Avitnesses of the United States, under cross-examina 
tion, immediately after the occurrence, would have tes 
tified to such words, if spoken, for the sake of vindicat 
ing Lee, when his commission and honor were in jeopardy. 
Every Avitness agrees with Lee as to language used ; but 
none imply profanity. Silence in this respect is, prima 
facie, the strongest possible legal evidence in disproval of 
the charge. 

One of the most eminent of American historians, in a 
footnote, thus attempts to verify this vague tradition 
respecting Washington: "It is related that when Lafay 
ette visited this country in 1825, he was the guest of Chief 
Justice Hornblower at Newark, N. J., and that while seated 
on his front porch, one evening, Lafayette remarked that 
the only time when he f ever heard Washington swear, 
was when he rebuked Lee at meeting him on his retreat 
at Momnouth. r The late Justice Bradley, who married a 
daughter of Judge Hornblower, in a letter, thus meets 
this statement : " Nothing of the kind ever occurred. 
Lafayette did not stay at Mr. Hornblower s, but at the 


principal public house of the city. There he was visited ; 
but the subject of the Battle of Monmouth was not men 

Lafayette does not, in his Memoirs, make such a charge ; 
nor in letters to his wife, which were voluminous in 
sketches of his beloved commander. Invariably, he exalts 
the character of Washington, as " something more divine 
than human." 

An additional statement, however, is given, to indicate 
the intensity of feeling and excitement of manner which 
characterized Washington s deportment on the occasion 
referred to. The late Governor Pennington, of New Jer 
sey, afterwards Speaker of the American House of Rep 
resentatives, was a pupil of Dr. Asahel Green, President 
of Princeton College, and related this incident of his col 
lege career : " Dr. Green lectured on Moral Philosophy, 
and used as his text-book Paley s work on that subject. 
When engaged on the chapter relative to profane swear 
ing, after Dr. Green had dilated on the subject, expanding 
Paley s argument on the uselessness and ungentlemanli- 
ness of the vice, and the entire absence of any excuse for 
it, some roguish student put to him this question : Dr. 
Green, did not Washington swear at Lee, at the Battle of 
Monmouth? Now, the doctor was present during the 
battle, in fact, a chaplain in the service, although a young 
man, and was an enthusiastic admirer, almost worship 
per, of General Washington. When the question was put 
to him, he drew himself up with dignity and said : Young 
man, that great man did, I acknowledge, use some hasty 
and incautious words at the Battle of Monmouth, when 
Lee attempted to excuse his treacherous conduct : but, 
if there ever was an occasion on which a man might 
be excused for such forgetfulness, it was that occasion ! 

In reply to an insolent letter written by General Lee 
immediately after the battle, in which he protested against 


" very singular expressions used on the field, which implied 
that he was either guilty of disobedience of orders, of 
want of conduct, or want of courage," Washington replied : 
" I received your letter, expressed, as I conceive, in terms 
highly improper. I am not conscious of any very sin 
gular expressions at the time of my meeting you, as you 
intimate. What I recollect to have said, was dictated by 
duty and warranted by the occasion." 

As at Kipp s Bay, when Washington denounced the 
panic as " dastardly and cowardly," and tradition called 
that "profanity," thus, at Monmouth, Washington re 
buked Lee s conduct. Lee s letter, just cited, conveys 
his estimate of Washington s words and manner. He 
also testified, that it was "manner rather than tuords" 
that gave him offence. 

The Battle of Monmouth, from first to last, was a su 
preme test of Washington the Soldier. From Monmouth, 
he marched to Brunswick, where he rested his troops ; 
thence to Haverstraw Bay ; and finally, on the twenty- 
second day of July, ho established his summer head 
quarters at White Plains. 

. Washington s Military Order Book, from the 22nd of 
June to 8th of August, 1779, in his own hand-writing, contains 
the following General Order. 

" Many and pointed Orders have been issued against that unmean 
ing and abominable custom of swearing, notwithstanding which, 
with much regret the General observes that it prevails if possible, 
more than ever. His feelings are continually wounded by the oaths 
and imprecations of the soldiers whenever he is in hearing of them. 
The name of that Being from whose bountiful goodness we are per 
mitted to exist and enjoy the Comforts of life is incessantly imprecated 
and profaned in a manner as wanton as it is shocking. For the sake 
therefore of religion, decency and order, the General hopes and trusts 
that officers of every rank will use their influence and authority to 
Check a vice which is as unprofitable as it is wicked and shameful. 
If officers would make it an invariable rule to reprimand and, if that 
does not do punish soldiers for offences of the kind, it would not 
fail of having the desired effect." 



"I rPON the return of General Clinton to New York as 
v_J the successor to General Howe in command of " all 
the Atlantic Colonies from Nova Scotia to West Indies, 
inclusive," his outlook over the territories which fell 
under his guardianship must have been that of faith 
rather than of sight. With the exception of Staten Island 
and the British supply depot, practically a part of New 
York, only one other post in the Northern Department, 
that of Newport, R.I., retained a British garrison. It 
is very certain that Clinton did not regard his exodus 
from Philadelphia and his collision with Washington s 
army at Monmouth with as much enthusiasm as did 
Charles Lee, who, shortly after that battle, when demand 
ing a speedy court-martial, informed Washington that 
"this campaign would close the war." At any rate, 
Clinton was hardly settled in his quarters, before tidings 
reached him that, on the eighth, a formidable French fleet 
of twelve line-of-battle ships and four frigates had made 
the Delaware Capes ; and that one of them, the Chinier, 
had conveyed to the American capital Monsieur Conrad 
A. Gerard, the first French Ambassador to the United 
States of America. Silas Deane, one of the American 
Commissioners at Paris, accompanied Monsieur Gerard. 
Clinton had reason to rejoice in this tardy arrival. The 
fleet sailed from Toulon, April thirteenth ; but on account 



of contrary winds did not pass Gibraltar until the fifteenth 
day of May. A voyage of ordinary passage would have 
imperiled both Howe and Clinton ; as four thousand troops 
accompanied the squadron, and its naval force was, just 
at that time, superior to that of Great Britain in Ameri 
can waters. 

In order rightly to appreciate the campaign which 
almost immediately opened, it is interesting to observe 
how the operations of both America and Britain were 
controlled by incidents over which neither had control. 
They also illustrate the contingencies which shape all 
military and naval operations over a broad theatre of war. 
A superior British squadron, under Admiral Byron, sailed 
from Portsmouth, England, as soon as it was known that 
France would actively support the United States. This 
was on the twentieth day of May. Upon receipt of news, 
supposed to be trustworthy, that the French fleet had 
been ordered to the West Indies only, the order was 
suspended in time for his return. Admiral Byron, who 
had been ordered to relieve Admiral Howe, returned 
to Plymouth. He did not actually sail with his fine fleet 
of twenty-two ships until the fifth of June. Even then, 
the ships were scattered by storms ; and four of them, 
reaching New York separately, narrowly escaped capture 
by the French just after Count d Estaing left that port 
for Newport. 

The French fleet, when advised of the evacuation of 
Philadelphia, immediately sailed for New York. Its ar 
rival produced intense excitement. The Annual Register 
(British) of that period reflects the sentiment very fully. 
The British ships, then in port, were inferior in number 
and weight of metal to those of France. Every available 
vessel of sufficient capacity to carry heavy guns was im 
mediately subsidized for defence. The entire city was 
exposed to attack as when occupied by the American 


army after its retreat from Long Island. It was a strange 
change in the relations of the British and American 
forces in that vicinity. 

Washington, fully satisfied that Clinton could have no 
possible inducement again to enter New Jersey, hoped, 
that through the presence of the French ships and the 
accompanying troops he might wrest Newport from 
British control, and planned accordingly. He did not, 
however, overlook the possibility of even striking New 
York. He had been advised by the French Ambassador 
of the very perilous relations of France in the West 
Indies ; and that the fleet which accompanied him to 
Philadelphia, with the expectation of a decisive action 
there, must soon be released for service elsewhere. Its 
change of destination to the port of New York involved 
an unexpected delay upon the American coast, and con 
tingencies of a very serious character. American critics 
constantly complained that the French fleet did not at 
once bombard New York City. Even some military men 
of that period, and some historical speculators since 
that time, would denounce the statement of the French 
Admiral, that the depth of water was insufficient for his 
ships to approach the city, as a mere excuse for not 
doing so. Washington sent Colonels Laurens and Ham 
ilton, confidential members of his staff, to learn the facts ; 
and the most experienced pilots were offered fifty thou 
sand dollars if they would agree to conduct the ships to 
the city. Hamilton s Report read as follows : 

>r These experienced persons unanimously declared, 
that it was impossible to carry us in. All refused ; and 
the particular soundings which I caused to be made my 
self, too well demonstrated that they were right." 

Washington immediately turned his attention to New 
port ; and the French fleet sailed at once to Rhode Island. 
Count d Estaing cast anchor off Point Judith, only five 


miles from Newport, on the twenty-ninth day of July. 
As an indication of the condition of affairs at New York 
after his departure, the following despatch of General 
Clinton to Lord Germaine, bearing the same date, July 
twenty-ninth, is of interest, declaring : " I may yet be 
compelled to evacuate the city and return to Halifax." 

The reader will involuntarily recall the events of July 
and August, 1776, only two years prior to the date of 
this despondent letter. Then General Howe and Ad 
miral Howe superciliously addressed communications to 
" George Washington, Esqr." Now, General Howe was 
homeward bound, relieved from further service in Amer 
ica, because the same Washington had outgeneraled him 
as a Soldier. And his brother, Admiral Howe, had been 
granted his request to be transferred to some other 
sphere of naval service. 

As soon as the French squadron of Count d Estaing 
sailed from New York, Washington instructed General 
Sullivan, then in command at Providence, R.I., to sum 
mon the New England militia to his aid for a combined 
attack upon Newport ; assigned Generals Greene and 
Lafayette to the command of divisions ; and ordered the 
brigades of Varnum and Glover to report to Lafayette. 
These officers had served with Greene before Boston, and 
Yarnuni was a member of Greene s old company, the 
Kentish Guards, which marched with him to Boston at 
the outbreak of war. The proposed cooperation of 
French troops also made the assignment of General 
Lafayette equally judicious. 

The British garrison consisted of six thousand troops 
under Major-General Pigot. On the fifth of August 
two French frigates entered the harbor, and the British 
burned seven of their own frigates with which they had 
controlled the waters, to avoid their capture. Details of 
the siege of Newport, except as Washington bore rela- 


tions to its progress and its ultimate failure, are not 
within the purpose of this narrative. It was unfortu 
nate that General Sullivan so long detained the French 
troops on shipboard ; where, as one of their officers 
wrote, they had been " cooped up " for more than five 
months. Their prompt landing would certainly have 
averted the subsequent disaster ; as storms of unprece 
dented fury soon after swept the coast, with almost equal 
distress to the land forces and those on the sea. In 
General Washington s letter, advising of the departure 
of Admiral Howe from New York for Newport, he thus 
forecast the future : " Unless the fleet have advices of re- 
enforcements off the coast, it can only be accounted for 
on the principle of desperation, stimulated by a hope of 
finding you divided in your operations against Rhode 

The American force was about ten thousand men. The 
tenth of the month had been specifically designated for a 
joint movement ; but General Sullivan, without notifying 
the Count d Estaing, anticipated it by a day, and failed. 
Count d Estaing was a lieutenant-general in the French 
army ; but agreed to waive his rank, and serve under 
Lafayette. The report was current at that time, that 
ill-feeling arose between General Sullivan and Count 
d Estaing because of the precipitate action of General Sul 
livan on this occasion. On the contrary, Count d Estaing 
understood that but two thousand troops were in the 
movement. He promptly called upon General Sullivan 
to consult as to further operations ; and in a Report to 
Congress used this language, alike creditable to his judg 
ment and his candor : " Knowing that there are moments 
which must be eagerly seized upon in war, I was cautious 
of blaming any overthrow of plans, which nevertheless 
astonished me, and which, in fact, merits in my opin 
ion only praise ; although accumulated circumstances 


might have rendered the consequences very unfortu~ 

When he made his visit to General Sullivan, he left 
orders for the troops that were to join in the land expe 
dition to follow. He had no knowledge, at that time, 
that Admiral Howe had received reinforcements, and had 
left New York to attack the French fleet then at New 
port. A large number of the French seamen were upon 
Connanicut Island, on account of scurvy, and the fleet 
was scattered, without apprehension of an attack from 
the sea. A fog prevailed on the morning of the visit. 
D Estaing returned to his flag-ship, and as the fog lifted, 
there appeared in the offing a British fleet of thirty-six 
sail. Admiral Howe had been reenforced by a portion 
of Admiral Byron s fleet, which arrived in advance of its 
commander ; and this force was superior to that of his 
adversary. D Estaing was alert. Quickly gathering his 
ships, in spite of a rising gale, he succeeded in gaining 
and holding the " weather-gauge " of Howe, who did not 
dare press toward the land against such an advantage in 
D Estaing s favor. Both fleets were dispersed by the 
tempest over fifty miles of ocean, repeatedly meeting 
with collisions, and after several of his ships had been 
dismasted, Howe ran the gauntlet of a part of the French 
squadron, and returned to New York. 

On the twentieth, Count d Estaing returned to New 
port ; and on the twenty-second sailed for Boston to refit. 
A protest, signed by General Sullivan and others, includ 
ing John Hancock, who took an active part in the opera 
tions of the siege, did not change his purpose. He had no 
alternative. It is true that much bad feeling, soon proven 
to have been absolutely unjustifiable, existed among 
Americans at the date of his departure. Sullivan him 
self issued an intemperate order, which he speedily modi 
fied, but not until it had gone to the public ; in which he 


used these words : " The general yet hopes the event will 
prove America able to procure that by her own arms, 
which her allies refuse to assist in obtaining." 

Just at this time, a courier from Washington reached 
Sullivan s headquarters with the information that General 
Clinton had sailed from New York with four thousand 
troops to reenforce the garrison of Newport ; and strongly 
intimated "the importance of securing a timely retreat 
from the Island." The suggestion was heeded. On the 
twenty-sixth, the heavy baggage was removed. On the 
twenty-eighth, a council of officers decided to withdraw to 
the north end of the island, until a messenger could be sent 
to Boston to urge the return of the French fleet. La 
fayette was the messenger, and made the round trip in a 
few hours. Count d Estaing very properly held, that to 
put in peril the entire fleet of France, in support of land 
operations so far from home and upon a strange coast, 
was a practical disobedience of his orders, and unjust to 
his sovereign ; but, while he would not return with his 
fleet, he informed Lafayette, that he " was willing to 
lead the French troops, in person, to Newport" and place 
himself "under General Sullivan s orders." In a manly 
explanation of his course, and notwithstanding General 
Sullivan s proclamation, of which he was advised, he used 
this language : " / was anxious to demonstrate thai my 
countrymen could not be offended by a sudden expression of 
feeling ; and that he who commanded them in America, was, 
and would be, at all times, one of the most devoted and 
zealous servants of the United States." 

By three o clock of the twenty-ninth, the Americans 
occupied Quaker Hill and Turkey Hill. These localities 
are still remembered for the gallantry of their defenders 
during subsequent British assaults. At eleven o clock, 
Lafayette returned from Boston, and before twelve 
as reported by Sullivan " the main army had crossed 


to the mainland with stores and baggage." As at Brandy- 
wine, Barren Hill and Monmouth, Lafayette remained 
with the rear guard, and brought away the last of the 
pickets in good order, rf not a man nor an article of bag 
gage having been left behind." 

On the morning of the thirtieth, one hundred and five 
sail of British vessels were in sight, bringing Clinton s 
army to the rescue of the garrison. Howe returned im 
mediately to New York, although Gray made an expe 
dition from Newport which committed depredations at 
Bedford, Fairhaven, Martha s Vineyard, and all places 
from which American privateers were fitted out for 
assaults upon British commerce. Admiral Howe after 
wards sailed for Boston, but being unable to entice Count 
d Estaing to so unequal a contest, returned again to New 
York. On the first of November, Admiral Byron appeared 
off Boston with a large naval force, but was driven to sea 
by a storm which so disabled his fleet that he was com 
pelled to go to Newport and refit. On his voyage from 
England he had been compelled to stop at Halifax, and it 
has been well said of this officer, that he chiefly " fought 
the ocean, during the year 1778." 

Count d Estaing sailed for the West Indies on the third 
of November. The first cooperation of the French navy 
in support of the United States had resulted in no victories, 
on land or sea ; but it had precipitated the evacuation of 
Philadelphia, restricted the garrison of New York to 
operations within the reach of the British navy, and was 
a practical pledge of thorough sympathy with America in 
her struggle for complete independence of Great Britain, 
and of the emphatic determination of France to maintain, 
as well as acknowledge, that independence. 



THE Headquarters of the American Army remained at 
White Plains until the latter part of September. 
Upon reaching that post, immediately following the Bat 
tle of Monmouth, after two years of absence, the Amer 
ican Commander-in-Chief, profoundly appreciating the 
mutations of personal and campaign experience through 
which himself and army had kept company in the service 
of " God and Country," thus expressed himself: 

r The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous, that 
he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith ; and 
more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to recoo-- 

o o o 

nize the obligation." 

Washington s self-control of a strongly passionate nat 
ural temper, and his equanimity under most exasperating 
ordeals, first were due to maternal influence, and then to 
his faith in some guiding principle of the inner self which 
enabled him to devote his entire faculties to passing 
duty, unhampered by the many personal considerations 
which so grievously worried many of his subordinates. 

Upon the failure of operations against Newport, Sulli 
van reoccupied Providence ; Lafayette occupied Bristol, 
and afterwards withdrew to Warren, beyond the reach of 
the British shipping. Greene, still acting as Quarter 
master-General, went to Boston, to superintend the pur 
chase of supplies for the French fleet. It is to be noticed, 
in connection with the presence of the French fleet at 



Boston, that one of its officers, Chevalier de Saint Sau- 
veur, was killed while attempting to quiet an affray 
between the French and some disorderly persons who 
visited a French bakery. On the next day, the Massa 
chusetts General Assembly, ordered the erection of a 
monument to his memory. 

Washington removed from White Plains to Fishkill, 
ever on the watch for the defences of the Hudson and 
the assurance of constant communication between New 
England and New York. On the tenth, he was at 
Petersburg. On the twenty-seventh, he announced the 
disposition of the army for the approaching winter. 

The formal assignments of commands to posts and 
departments, at this time, indicate his judgment of their 
relative value and exposure : " Nine brigades are disposed 
on the west side of the Hudson River, exclusive of the 
garrison of West Point ; one of which will be near 
Smith s Clove, for the security of that pass, and as a 
reinforcement to West Point, in case of necessity. The 
Jersey brigade is ordered to spend the winter at Eliza- 
bethtown, to cover the lower parts of New Jersey. Seven 
brigades, consisting of the Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, 
and Pennsylvania troops, will be at Middlebrook ; six 
brigades will be left on the east side of the river and at 
West Point ; three of which (of Massachusetts troops) 
will be stationed for the immediate defence of the High 
lands, one at West Point, in addition to the garrison 
already there, and the other two at Fishkill and Conti 
nental Village. The remaining three brigades, composed 
of the New Hampshire and Connecticut troops, and 
Hazen s Regiment, will be posted in the vicinity of Dan- 
bury, for the protection of the country lying along the 
Sound ; to cover our magazines lying on Connecticut 
river ; and to aid the Highlands, on any serious move 
ment of the enemy that way. The park of artillery will 


be at Pluckemin ; the cavalry will be disposed of thus : 
Eland s Regiment at Winchester, Va." 

The significance of this last assignment will be 
apparent, if it be remembered that the Hessian troops, 
captured at Saratoga, preferred to remain in America ; 
so that, when Burgoyne s army reached Cambridge for 
transportation to England, the foreign troops were sent 
to Virginia. Some threats had reached the ever-attentive 
ear of the American Commander-in-Chief, that an attempt 
would be made to release this command and employ it in 
the field, at the south. Of the other cavalry squadrons, 
Baylis was to occupy Frederick, or Hagerstown, Md. ; 
Sheldon s, to be at Durham, Conn. ; and Lee s Corps, 
(Col. Harry Lee), "will be with that part of the army 
which is in the Jerseys, acting on the advanced posts." 

General Putnam was assigned to command at Danbury, 
General McDougall, in the Highlands ; and general head 
quarters were to be near Middlebrook. 

No extensive field operations took place in the Northern 
States, after the Battle of Monmouth. Several restricted 
excursions were made, which kept the American Com 
mander-in-Chief on the watch for the Highland posts ; but 
these became less and less frequent as the year 1778 drew 
near its close. The British cabinet ordered five thousand 
of Clinton s troops to the West Indies, and three thousand 
more to Florida. 

On the twenty-seventh of September, General Gray 
surprised Colonel Baylor s Light Horse at Tappan, on 
the Hudson, as completely as he had surprised Wayne 
at Paoli. Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, accompanied by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Simcoe, confirmed their usual custom 
of warfare by forays which brought little plunder and less 
intrinsic cre/? ,t. Cornwallis with five thousand men made 
an incursion into New Jersey, between the Hudson and 
the Hackensack ; and Lieutenant-General Knyphausen, 


with three thousand men, operated in Westchester County, 
between the Bronx and the Hudson, but with small acqui 
sition of provisions or other supplies. 

On the eighth of October General Clinton, in writing to 
Lord Germaine, says : " With an army so much dimin 
ished, at New York, nothing important can be done, 
especially as it is weakened by sending seven hundred 
men to Halifax, and three hundred to Bermuda." On the 
fifteenth of October, Captain Ferguson of the Seventieth 
British Foot, with three thousand regulars and the Third 
New Jersey Volunteers (royalists) made a descent upon 
Little Neck, N. J., where many privateers were equipped ; 
surprised a detachment of Count Pulaski s American 
Brigade, and inflicted a loss of fifty killed, but none 
wounded, including Lieutenant-Colonel the Baron de 
Bose, and Lieutenant de la Borderie. Ferguson says, in 
his official report : "It being a night attack, little quarter, 
of course, could be given ; so that there were only five 
prisoners." Count Pulaski vigoiously pursued the party, 
inflicting some loss. This Ferguson was one of the 
partisan leaders who was merciless in slaughter, as too 
many of the auxiliary leaders of that period proved 
themselves to be when upon irresponsible marauding 

Meanwhile, Indian massacres in Wyoming Valley, 
during July, and that of Cherry Valley, on the eleventh 
of November, afterwards to be avenged, multiplied the 
embarrassments of the prosecution of the war, and kept 
the Cornmander-m-Chief constantly on the alert. The 
condition of Clinton, in New York, had indeed become 
critical. The position of the American army so restricted 
even his food-supplies, that he had to depend largely upon 
England ; and on the second day of December he wrote 
again, and even more despondently, to the British Secre 
tary of State : " I do not complain ; but, my lord, do net 


let anything be expected of me, circumstanced as I am." 
The British Cabinet had already indicated its purpose to 
abandon further extensive operations in the Northern 
States, and to utilize the few troops remaining in America, 
in regions where less organized resistance would be met, 
and where their fleets could control the chief points to be 
occupied. As early as November twenty-seventh, Com 
modore Hyde Parker had convoyed a fleet of transports 
to Savannah, with a total land force of thirty-five hun 
dred men ; and on the twenty-ninth of December, Savannah 
had been captured. 

The year 1778 closed, with the Southern campaign 
opened ; but the American Congress had no money ; and 
the loose union of the States constantly evoked sectional 
jealousies. Any thoughtful reader of this narrative must 
have noticed with what discriminating judgment enlist 
ments were accommodated to the conditions of each sec 
tion, and that care was taken to dispose of troops where 
their local associations were most conducive to their 
enthusiastic effort. Washington thus forcibly exposed 
the condition of affairs, when he declared that "the States 
were too much engaged in their local concerns, when the 
great business of a nation, the momentous concerns of an 
empire, were at stake." 

Bancroft, the historian, thus fitly refers to Washing 
ton at this eventful crisis in American affairs: "He, 
who in the beginning of the Revolution used to call 
Virginia his country, from this time never ceased his 
efforts, by conversation and correspondence, to train the 
statesmen of America, especially of his beloved State, to 
the work of consolidation of the Union." 

At the close of 1778, General Washington visited 
Philadelphia ; and thus solemnly and pungently addressed 
Colonel Harrison, Speaker of the Virginia House of Bur 
gesses. After urging Virginia to send the best and 


ablest of her men to Congress, he thus continues : 
"They must not slumber nor sleep at home, at such a 
time of pressing danger ; content with the enjoyment of 
places of honor or profit in their own State, while the 
common interests of America are mouldering and sink 
ing into inevitable ruin. ... If I were to draw a 
picture of the times and men, from what I have seen, 
heard, and in part know, I should, in one word say : that 
idleness, dissipation, and extravagance, seem to have 
laid fast hold of many of them ; that speculation, pecu 
lation, and an insatiable thirst for riches seem to have 
got the better of every other consideration and almost of 
every order of men ; that party disputes and personal 
quarrels are the great business of the day ; . . . while 
a great and accumulating debt, depreciated money, and 
want of credit, which in its consequences is the want of 
everything, are but secondary considerations, if our 
affairs wore the most promising aspect. . . . An 
assembly, a concert, a dinner, a supper, will not only 
take men away from acting in this business, but even from 
thinking of it ; while the great part of the officers of our 
army, from absolute necessity, are quitting the service ; 
and the more virtuous few, rather than do this, are 
sinking by sure degrees into beggary and want." 

There is a touch of the pathetic, and an almost despond 
ent tone with which the closing paragraph of this utter 
ance of the American Commander-in-Chief closes, when 
he adds : " Our affairs are in a more distressed, ruinous 
and deplorable condition, than they have been since the 
commencement of the war." 

There was no danger from any extended movement 
of British armies in force, and a consequent relaxation of 
effort pervaded the Colonies which had been most largely 
called upon for men to meet immediate invasion. This 
partial repose brought actual indolence and loss of en- 


thusiasm in general operations beyond the districts im 
mediately exposed to British attack. The winter garrison 
of Philadelphia, like that of Howe the previous year, 
languished in confinement, grew feeble in spirit, and 
weakened in discipline. Congress shared the enervating 
effect of the temporary suspension of active hostilities ; 
and it was not until the ninth of March, 1779, that the 
definite establishment of the army, upon the fixed basis of 
eighty battalions, was formally authorized. 

The inaction of Clinton at New York gave the Amer 
ican Conimander-in-Chief an opportunity to turn his atten 
tion to the Indian atrocities perpetrated the previous 
year in central New York ; and on the nineteenth of April 
he sent a force under Colonel Schenck, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Willett and Major Cochran, which destroyed the settle 
ment of the Onondagas, on the lands still occupied by 
them, near the present city of Syracuse in that State. 
An expedition was again planned for Canada, but the 
wisdom of Washington induced Congress to abandon it. 
Confederate money dropped to the nominal value of three 
or four cents on the dollar ; and Washington was con 
strained to offer his private estate for sale, to meet his 
personal necessities. Congress seemed incapable of 
realizing the impending desolation which must attend a 
forcible invasion of the southern States, and Washington 
was powerless to detach troops from the north, equal to 
any grave emergency in that section, so long as Clinton 
occupied New York in force. General Greene, compre 
hending the views of Washington and the immediate 

O O 

necessity for organizing an army for the threatened States, 
equal to the responsibility, asked permission to undertake 
that responsibility ; but Congress refused to sanction such 
a detail, although approved by Washington. This refusal, 
and the consequent delay to anticipate British invasion at 
the South, protracted the war, and brought both disaster 


and loss which early action might have anticipated, or 
prevented. The utmost that could be secured from Con 
gress was permission for the detail of a portion of the 
regular troops which had been recruited at the South, to 
return to that section for active service. 

Lafayette, finding that active duty was not antici 
pated, sailed from Boston for France, January 11, 1779, 
upon the frigate Alliance, which the Continental Con 
gress placed at his disposal. 

General Lincoln, of the American army who had 
reached Charleston on the last day of December, 1778 
attempted to thwart the operations of the British General 
Sir Augustine Prevost ; but without substantial, perma 
nent results. The British, from Detroit, operated as far 
south as the valley of the Wabash River, in the Illinois 
country ; but Thomas Jefferson, then Governor of 
Virginia, with troops raised in Virginia and North Caro 
lina, strengthened the western frontier and placed it in 
a condition of defence, unaided by Congress. 

The Middle States, however, had some experience of 
the desultory kind of warfare which characterized the 
greater part of the military operations of 1779. General 
Matthews sailed from New York late in April, with two 
thousand troops and five hundred marines, laid waste 
Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, destroyed over one 
hundred vessels, and returned to New York with seven 
teen prizes and three thousand hogsheads of tobacco, 
without serious loss to his command. As if keen to 
watch for the slightest opportunity of resuming active 
operations from New York, and constantly dreading the 
nearness and alertness of the American headquarters in 
New Jersey, Clinton, on the thirteenth of May, under 
convoy of the fleet of Sir George Collier, surprised the 
small garrisons at Verplanck s and Stony Point, re-garri 
soned them with British troops, and retired to Yonkers, 


leaving several small frigates and sloops-of-war to cover 
each post. 

The American army was removed from Middlebrook to 
Smith s Clove, on the ninth. On the twenty-third, 
Washington removed his headquarters to New Windsor, 
leaving General Putnam in command. General Heath 
was ordered to Boston, and General Wayne was sta 
tioned between the Clove and Fort Montgomery, near 
Dunderburg Mountain. 

Such were the modified positions of the two armies of 
the north, at the close of June, 1779. 




IN Fennimore Cooper s interesting romance, " The 
Spy," he furnishes graphic delineations of the true 
character of those minor operations about New York 
which were parts of General Clinton s military recrea 
tion, while he had too small a force to meet Washington s 
compact army in actual battle. Night forays and short 
excursions, under the cover of small vessels-of-war and 
assured of safe retreat, were of frequent occurrence. 
Mounted bands, officially known as the Queen s Rangers, 
had very large discretion in their movements and methods. 
They galloped to and fro, at will, sometimes securing 
plunder, and sometimes barely escaping with less than 
they started with. As a general rule, some " spy " was 
on the watch, and their ventures were simply mis-ad 
ventures. The American " cow-boys " were just as real 
characters, although less organized ; and each party car 
ried on a small war of its own, for the plunder realized. 
Clinton s lucky capture of Stony Point encouraged him 
to undertake other enterprises which weakened the re 
sources of the people, without enhanced prestige to the 
British troops. On the first of July, Tarleton went out 
for twenty-four hours, and on his return, made report. 
He had " surprised Sheldon s cavalry, near Salem ; capt 
ured Sheldon s colors [accidentally left in a barn], 
burned the Presbyterian church, and received little loss." 



He says : " I proposed terms to the militia, that if they 
would not fire from the houses, I would not burn them." 
But the militia that gathered in his rear made the expedi 
tion unprofitable. In less than eight hours Washington 
learned of the excursion. 

On the third day of July, General Tryon, under con 
voy of the fleet of Sir George Collyer, which had es 
corted General Clinton to Stony Point, sailed with twenty- 
six hundred men for New Haven, Conn. On Sunday, 
July fourth, when the people were observing the Sab 
bath and looking forward with enthusiasm to the follow 


ing morning and the observance of " Independence Day," 
Tryon published the following letter to the people of 
Connecticut : Pf The ungenerous and wanton insurrections 


against the sovereignty of Great Britain into which this 
colony has been deluded by the artifices of designing men, 
for private purposes, might well justify in you every fear 
which conscious guilt could form respecting the intentions 
of the present movement. The existence of a single 
habitation on your defenceless coast, ought to be a con 
stant reproof to your ingratitude." 

The landing of the various divisions at East Haven, 
Savin Rock, and other points ; and the vigorous defence 
upon the New Haven Green, by Capt. James Hillhouse, 
in command of the students of Yale College, are matters 
of familiar history. Fairfield, Green Farms, Huntington, 
Long Island, Greenfield and Norwalk shared in this raid ; 
but it only embittered the struggle, and on the thirteenth 
the expedition returned to New York. When Tryon s 
expedition started, Washington was opposite Staten 
Island ; being on a tour of personal inspection of all posts 
along the Hudson and the New Jersey approaches from 
the sea. On the seventh of July, when advised that 
Tryon had sailed, he sent an express to Governor Trum- 
bull, and ordered General Glover, then at Providence, to 


cooperate with the militia in case the enemy should make 
any descent upon the Connecticut coast. 

Meanwhile, and as the result of his tour of inspection, 
he planned a counter movement to these demonstrations 
of the New York garrison. During the six weeks occu 
pation of Stony Point by the British Grenadiers of the 
Seventieth Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Webster, 
heavy guns had been mounted ; breastworks and batteries 
had been built in advance of the fort, and two rows of 
abatis crossed the slope leading to the water. Washing 
ton, perfectly familiar with the post and the additions 
to its defences, prepared a minute plan for its capture. 
General Wayne, it will be remembered, had been posted 
near Dunderburg Mountain, in the distribution of officers 
made on the twenty-third of the month. Wayne entered 
into the plan with avidity. The detail of troops made 
by Washington and the instructions given have interest, 
as every possible effort was made to avoid failure or pre 
mature disclosure of the design. Colonel Febiger s Regi 
ment, followed by Colonel Webb s (Lieutenant-Colonel 
Meigs commanding) and a detachment from West Point 
under Major Hull, formed the right. Colonel Butler s Regi 
ment, and two companies of North Carolina troops under 
Major Murphy, formed the left. Colonel Lee s Light 
Horse, three hundred strong, which had been manceuvered 
during the day so as not to lead vagrants or spies to 
suspect their destination, formed the covering party, and 
took a position on the opposite side of a swamp near the 
post. The troops left Sandy Beach at midnight and 
marched by single files, over mountains, through morasses, 
and deep defiles. At eight o clock of the sixteenth, the 
command was within a mile and a half of the fort. 
Wayne made reconnoissance in person, and at half-past 
eleven at night the advance was ordered. In order to 
prevent any deserter from giving warning to the garrison, 


the purpose of the expedition was not announced until 
the order to attack could be given personally, by each 
officer, to his individual command. 

The following order was at the same time communi 
cated to the men: " If any soldier presume to take his 
musket from his shoulder ; attempt to fire ; or begin the 
battle till ordered by his proper officer, he shall be 
instantly put to death by the officer next him." (This 
implied, of course, death by the sword.) The advance 
was to be " with fixed bayonets, and unloaded muskets." 
Each officer and soldier had been ordered to place a white 
paper or cloth upon his cap, to distinguish him from 
an enemy ; and the watchword, to be shouted aloud 
whenever one detachment reached its point of attack, as 
an encouragement to the others and a terror to the gar 
rison, was, " The fort is ours!" Pioneer parties, care 
fully selected, wrenched away the abatis. The detach 
ments moved instantly, as if impelled by some invisible, 
resistless force. The two assaulting columns met in the 
centre of the works almost at the same moment. Wayne 
fell, seriously but not mortally Avounded, while passing 
the abatis. The entire American loss was fifteen killed, 
and eighty-three wounded. The British loss was one 
officer and nineteen men killed ; six officers and sixty- 
eight men wounded ; twenty-five officers and four hundred 
and forty-seven men taken prisoners ; two officers and 
fifty-six men missing. The night was dark, and the 
difficulties of crossing the morass below the fort, at nearly 
full tide, and clambering up rugged cliffs thick with briars 
and underbrush, cannot be described. A modern visitor 
will find it difficult enough to make the same trip, by 
daylight. The stores, valued at $158,640, were divided 
by Washington s order among the troops, in proportion 
to the pay of officers and men. The courteous treatment 
extended by him to the prisoners received very gracious 

recognition from the British authorities. The faithful- 


ness, skill, and daring, and the good judgment with 
which Wayne comprehended and carried out, in almost 
literal detail, the plans of Washington, were greatly to 
his honor, and evoked most appreciative commendation 
from his superior officer. 

General Clinton promptly organized a force, and pro 
ceeded up the river to recapture the post ; but Washing 
ton, having dismantled it, decided that its further reten 
tion was not of sufficient value to spare a garrison for its 
permanent defence, and left it for occupation by the 
British at their leisure. 

Another excursion from New York by Tarleton, into 
Westchester County, about the middle of August, was 
reciprocated under Washington s orders, with decided 
gclat and success. On the nineteenth of August, Col. 
Henry Lee crossed the Hackensack ; moved down the 
Hudson River, and at half-past two o clock in the morn 
ing, at low tide, captured Paulus Hook, where Jersey 
City now stands, nearly opposite Clinton s New York 
headquarters. Not a shot was fired by the storming 
party. Only the bayonet was used. The Americans 
lost twenty, and the British lost fifteen, besides one hun 
dred and fifty taken prisoners. 

For many months Washington had been watching for 
an opportunity of sufficient relief from British activity, 
to punish the Indians who perpetrated their outrages in 
the Wyoming Valley ; and as early as the sixth of March, 
he tendered to General Gates the command of an expedi 
tion for that purpose. In this assignment he enclosed an 
order for him to assume General Sullivan s command at 
Providence, in case he declined the expedition. General 
Gates, then at Boston, thus replied : " Last night, I had 
the honor of your Excellency s letter. The man who 
undertakes the Indian service should enjoy youth and 


strength, which I do not possess. It therefore grieves 
me that your Excellency should offer me a command to 
which I am entirely unequal. In obedience to your com 
mand I have forwarded your letter to General Sullivan ; 
and that he may not be one moment delayed, I have 
desired him to leave the command with General Greene 
until I arrive in Providence." 

General Sullivan marched from Eastern Pennsylvania, 
reaching Wyoming Valley on the thirty-first of July, 
and Tioga Point, N.Y., on the eighth of August, with 
a force of five thousand men. Gen. James Clinton 
joined him from the northern army. The brigades of 
Generals Poor, Hand, and Maxwell, Parr s Rifle Corps, 
and Proctor s Artillery, all familiar to the reader, formed 
the invading force. On the twenty-ninth day of August, 
the Battle of Chemung was fought, near the present city 
of Elmira, and the towns of the Six Nations were laid 
waste, including orchards, gardens, houses, clothing, and 
provisions, indiscriminately. There was nothing in this 
punishment of the Six Nations which commended the 
American cause to their favor ; but they did not regard 
the details of these ravages as a part of Washington s in 
structions. When the War for Independence closed, and 
their alliance with the United States became a fixed fact, 
Washington represented their ideal of the great soldier 
" He had made the power of Britain to yield to his arms." 
Governor Blackstone, Chief of the Senecas, Cornplanter, 
and Halftown, the famous trio who made the treaty with 
Washington, were ever known as " the friends of Wash 
ington." A silver medal presented to Governor Black- 
stone, which bore the simple inscription " Second Presi 
dency of George Washington," was long esteemed as a 
most precious relic. Handsome Lake, known as the 
"Peace Prophet,"- brother of Tecumseh, made as a 
tribute to Washington one of the most impressive utter- 


ances of his mission among the Six Nations. Even as 
late as the Eleventh United States Census, 1890, Wash 
ington s name, alone of all the American Presidents, was 
not found among the children s names of the Six Nations ; 
so greatly was he held in reverence. They also engrafted 
into their religion the myth that " he occupies a mansion 
at the gate of Paradise, \vhere he becomes visible to all 
who enter its portals and ascend to the Great Spirit, and 
both recognizes and returns the salute of all who enter." 


This devotion of his Indian admirers is hardly less 
valuable than the tributes of Frederick the Great and 
other European soldiers and statesmen to the qualities of 
Washington as a Soldier ; and it permanently redeems 
the name of Washington from any responsibility for the 
excessive desolation with which the Six Nations were vis 
ited in the expedition of 1779. 

On the twenty-fifth of August, while Sullivan was 
upon this Indian expedition, Admiral Arbuthnot arrived 
with reinforcements of three thousand men, and relieved 
Sir George Collyer in naval command. On the twenty- 
first of September, Sir Andrew Hammond arrived with 
an additional force of fifteen hundred men, from Cork, 
Ireland. At this juncture, Count d Estaing, having capt 
ured St. Vincent and Granada in the West Indies, sud 
denly made his appearance off the coast of Georgia. 
Spain had joined France in war against Great Britain ; so 
that the whole line of British posts, from Halifax to St. 
Augustine, was exposed to such naval attacks as would 
divert the attention of Great Britain from the designs of 
her allied enemies against her West India possessions. 

Washington, upon the arrival of these British ree n- 
forcements, strengthened West Point with additional 
works ; but Clinton, even with his large naval force, did 
not venture an attack upon that post, as had been his 
intention when making requisition for more troops. 


On the twenty-fifth of October, 1779, General Clinton 
abandoned Newport, R.I. ; then Verplanck Point ; then 
Stony Point : and for the first time since Washington 
landed in New York, in 1776, the whole of New Eng 
land and the entire stretch of the Hudson River, was 
unvexed by British steel or British keel. 



IF the mind weary of the recital of events which by 
night and by day burdened the soul and tasked the 
energies of the American Commander-in-Chief to their 


utmost strain, it cannot but be refreshed by evidence of 
his abiding confidence and patience in the cause of Ameri 
can Independence, as the theatre of war enlarged and 
gradually placed every colony under the weight of British 
pressure. The issue of two hundred millions of paper 
money had indeed been authorized, and a loan w T as invited 
abroad ; but, as ever, men were wanted, and were not 
forthcoming. Even the States which had longest borne the 

o O 

brunt of battle, and had only just been relieved from its 
immediate dangers, seemed to weary under the reaction 
of that relief, as if the storm had passed by, never again 
to sweep over the same surface. It was also very natural 
as well as true, that the pledge of French intervention 
and the gleam of the oriflamme of France, did, in a 
measure, compose anxiety and lessen the sense of local 
responsibility for such a contribution of troops from every 
section as would make the nation as independent of 
France as of Great Britain. 

There was a sense of weariness, a tendency to fitful 
strokes of local energy, without that overwhelming sense 
of need which first rallied all sections to a common cause. 
Congress also seemed, at times, almost to stagger under 
its load. But Washington, who sometimes grew weary 




and groaned in spirit, and sometimes panted with 
shortened breath while toiling upward to surmount 
some new obstruction, never, never staggered. For 
him, there were " stepping-stones in the deepest waters." 
For him, though tides might ebb and flow, the earth 
itself forever kept its even course about the guiding 
sun ; and for him, the sun of Liberty was the light of the 
soul. Every circling year but added blessings from its 
glow, and energy from its power. The intensity of his 
emotion when he penned those solemn truthful words to 
Harrison, showed but the impulse of a spiritual power 
which the times demanded, but would neither comprehend 
nor brook if from other sources than Washington s majes 
tic will and presence. From the summit of his faith, he 
clearly indicated with pen-point the driveling selfishness 
which postponed triumph and made the chariot-wheels 
drag so heavily through the advancing war. 

The scenes were suddenly shifted to the southern stage 
of operations. New characters were to take the parts 
of some who had fulfilled their destiny ; but many of 
both men and ships that participated in the siege of 
Boston itself, were still to act an honored part until the 
revolution should be complete. The cities of Charleston 
and Savannah were to be visited, as Boston, New York, 
and Philadelphia had been visited : not with a paternal 
yearning for their return to a cheerful "mother-home"; 
but in the spirit of a master dealing with overworked 
and fractious slaves. But the slaves had both burst and 
buried their shackles ; and whether in city or country, on 
mountain or in valley, in forest or in swamp wherever 
animal life could exist, there, and everyAvhere, the South, 
ever generous, ever proud, ever self-respecting, and ever 
loyal to convictions of duty, were to besprinkle the altar 
of their country with life-blood, and consummate the War 
for American Independence upon her consecrated soil. 


The short-sighted critics of the North who had tried to 


play upon sectional prejudice, that some one of their 
self-sufficient number might fill Washington s saddle, 
began to wonder why he remained at his post in New 
Jersey ; why he did not surrender the northern command 
to one of their number, and then go where his ancestral 
home was endangered and the companions of his youth 
were to struggle for very life itself. But the greatness 
of Washington the Soldier was never more apparent" 
than now. Calmly he sustained himself at this point of 
vantage; stretching out his arm in turn to soothe and 
warn, or to hurl defiance in the teeth of foes or strag 
glers, but ever to nerve the nation to duty. 

There was no costly throne set up at Morristown, or 
Middlebrook. There was no luxury there. There were 
camp-cots, and camp-chairs, and usually, rations sufficient 
for the daily need ; but the centre of the upheaving ener 
gies of American Liberty was there ; and these energies 
were controlled and directed, with no loss in transmission, 
by the immediate presence of the Comniander-in-Chief. 

It will be remembered, at the very mention of South 
ern Colonies, or Southern States, how peculiar was 
their relation to the mother country, from the earliest 
British supremacy along the eastern Atlantic coast. 
The Eomanist, the Churchman, the Presbyterian, and the 
Huguenot, in their respective search for larger liberty 
and missionary work, had shared equally in a sense of 
oppression, before their migration to America. They 
had much in common with the early settlers of the New 
England coast. The Hollanders of New Jersey and the 
Quakers of Pennsylvania, between the extremes, were 
not wholly absorbed in business ventures. But all alike 
had additional incentives to a more independent life, far 
removed from those social and artificial obligations which 
reigned supreme in the Old World. There were indeed 


adventurers for conquest, for wealth, and for political 
power, among them ; and the aristocratic usages which 
accompanied the royal prerogative were fostered by the 
presence of slavery, so that they affected the vital 
functions of the new Republic for generations. But, with 
the exception of elements earlier noticed, the " ferment 
of American Liberty " was never more decided, pure, and 
constant in Massachusetts than in Virginia ; nor more 
bold, desperate and defiant, among the Green Mountains 
of Vermont than among the pine woods and palmetto 
groves of North and South Carolina. 

The closing months of the nineteenth century seem to 
have been reserved, in the providence of God, for the 
consummation of that lofty anticipation of Washington 
which Daniel Webster formulated in one sublime utter 
ance, "The Union; now and forever; One and Insepa 

And now, in the spirit of this memory of the pioneers 
of American civilization, the narrative returns to the 
immediate burdens upon the mind of Washington ; as, 
in the closing months of 1779, we face the mirror south 
ward, and catch its reflections. 

As the winter season of 1779- 80 drew on, and the 
ordinary hurricanes of the West India storm-belt indi 
cated a very restricted use of the French navy in those 
waters, an effort was made to induce Count d Estaing to 
support an American attack upon Savannah. lie re 
sponded promptly ; and besides sending five ships to 
Charleston to perfect details for the combined movement 
of both southern armies, anchored his principal squadron 
of twenty ships-of-the-line, two 50 s and eleven frigates, 
outside the bar of Tybee Island, on the eighth day of 
September. Six thousand French troops accompanied 
the fleet. Governor Rutledjje of South Carolina so 


actively aided the enterprise, that a sufficient number of 
small craft were procured to land thirty-five hundred and 
twenty-four of these troops at Bieulien, on Ossahaw Inlet, 
about twelve miles from Savannah. The march was imme 
diately begun. On the sixteenth, Count d Estaing de 
manded surrender of the city. The Legislature of South 
Carolina adjourned. Militia replaced the regulars at Fort 
Moultrie, and withinfour days, on the eighth, quite a strong 
force marched for Savannah. General Lincoln left on the 
tenth. Meanwhile, the British General Prescott had so 
actively destroyed bridges and obstructed roads, that the 
Americans did not join the French troops until the six 
teenth. Trenches were not begun until the twenty- 
fourth of September, and the difficulty of obtaining 
draught animals for hauling heavy siesfe-^uns to their 

O O / O O 

proper position, still longer delayed the movement. The 
enthusiasm of the American officers over the prospect of 
French cooperation led them to assure Count d Estaing 
that his delay before Savannah would not exceed from 
ten to sixteen days ; and upon this distinct assurance, he 
had thus promptly disembarked his land forces. The 
French West Indies had been left without naval support ; 
and already an entire month had passed with every prob 
ability that a British fleet from New York would take 
advantage of the opportunity to recapture West India 
posts so recently captured by the French. Abandonment 
of the siege, or an assault, became an immediate neces 
sity, especially as Count d Estaing had undertaken the 
enterprise, urged by Lafayette, with no other authority 
than his general instructions as to America, and his deep 
interest in the struggle. 

The assault was made on the ninth day of October. 
It was desperate, with alternate success and failure at 
different portions of the works ; but ultimately, a repulse. 
The British casualties were few, four officers and thirty- 


six men killed ; four officers and one hundred and fifteen 
men wounded and missing. The French loss was fifteen 


officers and one hundred and sixteen men killed ; forty- 
three officers and four hundred and eleven men wounded. 
Count d Estaing was twice wounded, and Count Pulaski, 
as well as Sergeant Jasper, so brave at Moultrie in 1776, 
were among the killed. Colonel Laurens, aid-de-camp 
to Washington, was conspicuous in the assault, as he 
proved himself at Newport, and afterwards at Yorktown. 

The French withdrew their artillery, and sailed on the 
twenty-ninth. The Americans returned to Charleston. 
The result of the siege affected both northern armies. 
Washington abandoned an attack upon New York, for 
which he had assembled a large force of New York and 
Massachusetts militia. Learning that Clinton was pre 
paring to go South, either to Georgia or South Carolina, 
he ordered the North Carolina troops to march to Charles 
ton in November, and the Virginia regulars to follow 
in December. Clinton left New York on the twenty- 
sixth of December for Charleston with seven thousand 
five hundred men, leaving Lieutenant-General Knyphau- 
sen in command. 

Washington again placed General Heath in command 
of the Highlands ; sent the cavalry to Connecticut, and 
with the remainder of the army marched to Morristown, 
which for the second time became his winter headquarters. 




r I 1HE first act of General Washington upon reaching 
_J_ Morristown was to invoice his resources and bal 
ance his accounts. He " called the roll " of his army, 
made record of all supplies, and framed estimates for 
forthcoming necessities. It was a depressing exhibit. 
Excluding South Carolina and Georgia troops, which 
were assigned to their own home department, the entire 
Muster, including all independent organizations as well 
as drummers, filers, teamsters, and all attaches of every 
kind, and upon the impossible assumption that every 
man on the original Roll was still living, and in the 
service, footed up only twenty-seven thousand and 
ninety-nine men. 

The army was in huts. The snow was an even two 
feet in depth. All defiles were drifted full, and hard- 
packed, well-nigh impassable. But a few days more of 
the year remained. On the thirty-first, within a few 
days, two thousand and fifty enlistments would expire. 
In ninety days more, March the thirty-first, six thou 
sand four hundred and ninety-six more would expire. 
By the last of April, when active operations might be 
anticipated, the total reduction by expiration of term of 
service would reach eight thousand one hundred and 
fifty ; by the last of September, ten thousand seven 
hundred and nine ; and, during the year, twelve thou 
sand one hundred and fifty. 



The total force enlisted " for the Avar" was but fourteen 
thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight men ; and from 
the numbers already given, were to be detailed the 
necessary number of artificers, armorers, wagoners, 
quartermasters employees, and all those subordinate 
detachments which reduce the fighting force of an army, 
as well as all casualties since their first muster. To this 
is to be added the fact, that the several States furnished 
their respective quotas at different times, and for differ 
ent periods, so that there was a constant addition of raw 
levies. The army, in fact, had no opportunity to be 
thoroughly drilled and disciplined, in all its parts. Such 
was the condition of the Army of the United States, 
when the second campaign in the Southern States 

Some reader may very naturally inquire why Wash 
ington did not attack the British garrison of New York, 
after Clinton s departure for Charleston with so many 
troops. Critics at the time made complaint, and some 
writers have indorsed their criticisms through igno 
rance of the facts. An examination of the original Re- 


turns of Clinton, still found in the British archives, gives 

the following result. This estimate was taken at the 

time when Washington was preparing to make an attempt 
on New York. The British force of that post and its 
dependencies was twenty-six thousand seven hundred 
and fifty-six effectives. There were in Georgia three 
thousand nine hundred and thirty men ; and in Florida, 
one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven effectives. 
At Penobscot, Me., and at Halifax, subject to call, 
there was an additional force of three thousand four hun 
dred and sixty, making an aggregated force of nearly 
thirty-eight thousand men. 

When General Clinton sailed with his seven thousand 
five hundred men, the British force in the Southern De- 


partment became thirteen thousand two hundred and 
sixty-seven ; but it left in New York an effective strength 
of twenty-one thousand and six men. And yet this gar 
rison was not without apprehension of attack. The 
winter was one of unexampled severity. New York 
harbor froze until teams could cross upon the ice. Tho 
British army was almost in a starving condition. Country 
supplies of wood were cut off, until vessels at the wharves 
were chopped up for fuel. The American army was not 
wholly idle. Lord Stirling, with twenty-five hundred 
men, crossed to Staten Island on the ice, in spite of the 
extreme cold, to attack that British supply-post ; but a 
sudden opening in the ice restored British communica 
tion with the city, and his expedition failed of valuable 
results. On the twenty-fifth of January, General Knyp- 
hausen sent a small detachment across the ice at Paulus 
Hook and captured a company at Newark ; while Lieu 
tenant-Colonel Buskirk crossed from Staten Island, and at 
Elizabethtown captured the picket and burned the Town 
House, as well as the church of the Rev. James Cald- 
well, Chaplain of Colonel Elias Dayton s Regiment. On 
the second of February, Lieutenant-Colonel Norton rode 
in sleighs, to attack a small American post near White 
Plains; but, otherwise, the British as well as the Amer 
ican army had enough to do to prevent freezing to death. 
During the extreme freeze of January, 1780, the suf 
fering in the American camp is reported as " baffling de 
scription. The paths were marked by blood from the 
feet of bare-footed soldiers." Bancroft and Irving have 
left nothing to add here. General Greene, Quartermaster- 
General, reported on the eleventh of January : " Such 
weather I never did feel. For six or eight days there has 
been no living abroad. We drive over the tops of fences. 
We have been alternately out of meat and bread for 
eight or nine days past, and without either for three or 


four." It was a time, also, when the royalist element 
gained some hope ; and Clinton s Official Return for De 
cember reports a force of four thousand and sixty-four 
Provincials then in British pay. The women of New 
Jersey came to the rescue of the suffering soldiers of 
Washington in a manner that exhausts all possible forms 
of recognition. Clothing and feeding the naked and 
hungry was their constant employment. Washington 
says of New Jersey, that "his requisitions were punctu 
ally complied with, and in many counties exceeded." 
;. During this entire period there was one supervision ex 
ercised by the American Commander- in-Chief which knew 
no interruption, whatever the inclemency of the weather. 
Every pass to his strongly intrenched camp, and every 
bold promontory, or distinct summit, that observed or 
commanded approach, was guarded, and watch-fires were 
instituted for signals of danger, or warning to the mili 
tia. The perpetuation of his strongholds in New Jersey 
saved the Republic. 

During this well-nigh desperate condition of his army, 
and the increasing peril to. the Southern Department, he 
made one more Report of his condition to Congress ;, 
and it belongs to this narrative as a signal exhibit of his 

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wisdom and courage, as well as his discernment of the 
increasing lethargy of sections not in immediate danger 
from British aggression. It reads as follows : " Certain I 
am, unless Congress are vested with powers by the sepa 
rate States competent to the great purposes of the war, 
or assume them as a matter of right, and they and the 
States act with more energy than they have done, our. 
cause is lost. We can no longer drudge along in the old 
way. By ill-timing in the adoption of measures, by de 
lays in the execution of them, or by unwarranted jealous 
ies, we incur enormous expenses and derive no benefit 
from them. One State will comply with a requisition of 


Congress ; another neglects to do it ; a third executes it 
by halves ; and they differ in the manner, the matter, or 
so much in point of time, that we are always working up 
hill. While such a system as the present one, or rather, 
the want of one, prevails, we shall be ever unable to 
apply our strongest resources to any advantage. . . > 
I see one head gradually organizing into thirteen. I see 
one army branching into thirteen, which instead of look 
ing up to Congress as the supreme controlling power of 
the United States, are considering themselves dependent 
upon their respective States." 

On the third of April, Washington again wrote in such 
plain terms of " the mutinous spirit, intense disgust, and 
absolute desperation of his small, famished, ragged, and 
depleted command," that after hot debate, a committee of 
three was reluctantly sent to advise with him as to meas 
ures of relief. 

That the reader may more fully appreciate the temper of 
some narrow-minded men of that period, and at so fear 
ful a crisis, the following extract from a letter to the 
Count de Vergennes is cited. In referring to the simple 
question of appointing a committee to visit their Com- 
inander-in-Chief, this American writes : " It was said 
that the appointment of a committee would be putting 
too much power in a few hands, and especially in those 
of the Commander-in-Chief ; that his influence already 
was too great ; that even his virtues afforded motives for 
alarm ; that the enthusiasm of his army, joined to the 
kind of dictatorship already confided to him, put Congress 
and the United States at his mercy ; that it was not ex 
pedient to expose a man of the highest virtues to such 

General Schuyler, then in Congress, John Matthews 
and Nathaniel Peabody served on this committee, and as 
the result, Congress resolved to equalize the pay of the 


army, and make more systematic efforts to recruit and 
maintain it. 

On the twelfth of February, Congress affirmed the 
sentence of a court-martial which sentenced Arnold, then 
commanding at Philadelphia, to a reprimand for giving 
passes to disaffected citizens and using public transporta 
tion for private use. The reprimand was mildly admin 
istered : but it made Arnold very angry. His life of 
ostentatious display, his extravagant habits, and his 
loose views of moral obligation, aroused public indigna 
tion ; and the mere matter of the charges upon which he 
was sentenced would not have appeared so grave, ex 
cept that he was universally suspected of using his official 
position for private emolument." 

During all these struggles to keep his army together 
and prevent British operations out from New York, 
Washington was watchful of the operations then in 
progress at the South. General Clinton cleared the ice 
without difficulty, and left New York on the twenty- 
ninth of December, as already stated, expecting to reach 
his destination within ten days ; but a storm dispersed 
his fleet, and one vessel foundered. Nearly all of his 
cavalry, and all of his artillery horses, perished. Although 
they reached Tybee Island, their first rendezvous, within 
the month, they did not leave for St. John Island, thirty 
miles below Charleston, until the tenth of February ; and 
did not take up their position before Charleston, between 
the Ashley and Cooper rivers, until the twelfth of March. 
It appears from documentary data that the retention of 
Charleston, garrisoned by only two thousand two hundred 
regulars and a thousand militia, was largely induced by 
the inhabitants of the city. It is true that Commodore 
Whipple of the American navy regarded it as defensible ; 
but Washington did not concur in that opinion. He held 
that the same force which would be required ;to hold the 


city, could do far greater and better service by remaining 
without the city, besides being more independent in 
securing supplies and cooperating with militia and other 
forces seeking their support. Besides this, the defences 
had been prepared to resist approach by sea, and not by 
land. An extract from Tarleton s history of the cam 
paigns of 1780- 81, is as follows, indicating the pur 
pose of the movement itself : rr The richness of the 
country, its vicinity to Georgia, and it* distance from 
Washington, pointed out the advantages and facility of 
its conquest." 

The British forces broke ground on the first of April ; 
on the nineteenth established their second, and on the sixth 
of May, their third, parallel. On the twelfth, the British 
took possession of the city. The schedule of prisoners 
prepared by Major Andre, of General Clinton s staff, 
included all citizens, as prisoners of war. The Conti 
nental troops, including five hundred in hospital, did not 
exceed two thousand. General Clinton followed up this 
success by an absurd proclamation to the people, and 
wrote a more absurd letter to Lord Germaine, which is 
valuable to the reader, for the interest which attaches to 
its terms in connection with subsequent operations of 
Clinton, upon his return northward. It is as follows : 
"The inhabitants from every quarter declare their alle 
giance to the king, and offer their services in arms. 
There are few men in South Carolina who are not either 
our prisoners, or in arms with us." On the fifth of June, 
General Clinton returned to New York, leaving Lord 
Cornwallis in command. 

During the absence of Clinton from New York, and 
with the opening of spring, Washington s position 
became more offensive to the garrison of New York. 
Amid all his gloom on account of the condition of his 
army, a bright episode gladdened his heart and nerved 


him for action. He had a visitor. The Marquis do La 
fayette, who reached Boston on the 28th of April, by the 
frigate Hermione, entered Washington s headquarters on 
the morning of May 10th. He announced, that the 
Count de Rochambeau was on the seas with the first 
division of an army, coming to support the American 
Republic. This French army was not directed to report 
to the American Congress, nor to take orders from that 
body. Washington opened the communication which 
Lafayette was intrusted to deliver, in advance of the 
arrival of Count de Rochambeau, and the following is a 
copy of the instructions to that officer: "The French 
troops are to obey Washington; to admit the precedence 
of American officers of equal rank ; on all formal occa 
sions to yield the right to the American army ; and bear 
in mind that the whole purpose is, heartily and efficiently, 
to execute the will of the American Commander-in- 

On the fourteenth, after four days of confidential con 
ference, Lafayette, bearing a letter from Washington, 
reported to the President of Congress for duty, preserv 
ing, for the time, the secret that the troops of France 
were already on their way to America. 

But what a condition of affairs awaited the arrival of 
these gallant allies ! The American army had already 
lost more in numbers than was anticipated by Washington 
in the official Report, already noticed. On the second of 
April, his entire force on both sides of the Hudson River 
consisted of only ten thousand four hundred, rank and 
file ; and of these two thousand eight hundred had only 
two weeks to serve. Lord Rawdon had, indeed, taken 
from the New York garrison two thousand five hundred 
men as a reenforcement to General Clinton ; but nearly 
twelve thousand remained behind. Although this increase 
of Clinton s command afforded Washington small ground 

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for hope of success in the Southern Department,, he real 
ized that it was impossible for him to abandon his present 
position. But he immediately despatched southward the 
Maryland and Delaware troops, which had fought in 
nearly every battle with the skill of veterans, and the 
First Artillery, all under the command of the Baron 
De Kalb. 

AVhile sparing these well disciplined troops, Washing 
ton s position involved vastly increased responsibility. 
On the twenty-fifth day of May, two iConnecticut regi 
ments mutinied, declaring that they would " march home," 
or at least secure subsistence at the point of the bayonet. 
Handbills were printed in New York and distributed, 
urging the soldiers to desert. "This mutiny," says Wash 
ington, most impressively, "has given infinite concern." 
There was no money except the Continental, and of this 
he says : "It is evidently impracticable, from the immense 
quantity it would require, to pay them as much as to 
make up the depreciation." He further adds : ";This is a 
decisive moment, one of the most. I will go further, 
and say, the most important America has ever seen. The 
Court of France has made a glorious effort for our deliv 
erance, and if we disappoint its intentions by our supine- 
ness, we must become contemptible in the eyes of all 
mankind ; nor can we, after, venture to confide that our 
allies will persist in an attempt to establish what we want 
ability, or inclination, to assist them in." 

General Greene thus addressed the Colonel of the 
Morristown militia: "There are no more provisions than 
to serve one regiment, in the magazine. The late terri 
ble storm, the depth of the snow, and the drifts in the 
roads, prevent the little stock from coming forward which 
is in distant magazines. The roads must be kept open 
by the inhabitants, or the army cannot be subsisted. 
Unless the good people lend their assistance to forward 


supplies, the army must disband. The army is stripped 
naked of teams, as possible, to lessen the consumption of 
forage. Call to your aid the overseers of the highways, 
and every other order of men who can give despatch to 
this business. P.S. Give no copies of this order, for 
fear it should get to the enemy." 

There was indeed reason for this considerate post 
script. The mutinous spirit which had been evoked by 
sheer starvation, had been misinterpreted by the British 
officers in New York ; and General Knyphausen must 
have been very proud of an opportunity to distinguish 
himself, in the absence of General Clinton, when he con 
ceived of the poor American soldier as an unfortunate 
hireling waiting for a deliverer. He would become 
their Moses and conduct them back to the royal father s 
embrace. He organized his missionary venture carefully. 
Accompanied by Generals Try on, Matthews, and Ster 
ling, he crossed from Staten Island to Elizabethtown 
Point. (See map.) He had a twofold plan in mind. 
He would demonstrate to the people of New Jersey that 
their half-frozen, hungry, and ragged countrymen with 
Washington, could not protect their homes from hostile 
incursions out from New York ; and also supposed, in 
case he were very prompt and expeditious, that he might 
pounce, like a hawk, upon the coop of the arch-rebel 
himself. General Sterling led the advance, starting be 
fore daybreak. The column was hardly distinguishable, 
company from company, so heavy were the sea-mist and 
darkness. Suddenly, one shot, and then another, came 
from, an invisible American outpost. General Sterling 
received the first, which ultimately proved fatal, and was 
removed to the rear. Knyphausen took his place at the 
front. The rising sun dispelled the fog, but disclosed 
the assembling of Colonel Elias Dayton s Regiment, from 
various quarters. The anticipated surprise, and a cor- 


responding welcome from the American soldiers, did not 
occur. The militia retired after a few scattering shots, 
and Simcoe s Queen s Rangers dashed forward, followed 
by the British and Hessian Infantry. As by magic, the 
militia multiplied. Fences, thickets, orchards, and single 
trees were made available for as many single riflemen ; 
and at every step of advance, one and then another of 
his majesty s troops were picked off. During the march 
to Connecticut Farms, a distance of only seven miles, no 
friendly tokens of welcome appeared in sight. Puffs 
of smoke, and the rifle s sharp crack, could hardly be 
located before similar warnings succeeded, and details 
to take care of the wounded soon began to thin out and 
sag the beautiful lines of the British front. Still, the 
column advanced toward Springfield, and directly on the 
line of travel which led immediately to Washington s en 

At this point, Dayton s Regiment, which had been so 
troublesome as skirmishers, hastened step, came into 
regimental order, and quickly crossed the Rahw ay bridge. 
But, to the surprise of the advancing enemy, the division 
of General Maxwell was in battle array, silently inviting 
battle. General Knyphausen halted to bring up artillery 
and his full force of five thousand men. He stopped also, 
to burn Connecticut Farms, because, " shots from its 
windows picked off his officers and guides." Among the 
victims to his responsive fire, was the wife of Chaplain 
Chapman of Dayton s Regiment. The news of her death 
spread, as a spark over pine or prairie regions. When 
within a half mile of Springfield, the Hessian general 
again halted for consultation as to his next order. 
Cannon sounds began to be heard from various directions, 
answering signal for signal. The ascending smoke of 
beacon-fires crowned every summit. The whole country 
seemed to have been upheaved as if by some volcanic 


force. Maxwell s Brigade was just across the Rah way, 
and less than one-third the strength of the Hessian s com 
mand. But General Knyphausen was too good a soldier 
not to peer through Maxwell s thin line, and recognize, in 
solid formation, the entire army of Washington, waiting 
in silence to give him a hearty soldier s reception. The 
day passed ; and for once, both armies were at full halt. 
Knyphausen, for the time, was Commander-in-Chief of 
both, for it devolved upon him alone to order battle. 
He was filling the part of Pharaoh, and not that of Moses. 

One monotonous sound echoed from a summit near 
Morristown. Tt was the " minute-gun," Avhich had been 
designated by the American Commander-in-Chief as a 
continuous signal whenever he wanted every man within 
hearing, who had a gun, to come at once to his demand. 
Night came on, and with it, rain ; but still the minute- 
gun boomed on, with solemn cadence, and instead of 
smoking hill-tops, the blaze of quickened beacons illu 
mined the dull sky as if New Jersey were all on fire. 
The night covered the Hessians from view, and when 
morning came they attempted to regain Staten Island ; 
but the tide retired, leaving boats stranded and the mud 
so dee}) that even cavalry could not cross in safety. 
Having heard on the first of June that Clinton was en 
route for New York, Knyphausen simply strengthened 
the New York defences and awaited the arrival of his 
superior officer. 

On the tenth, Washington wrote : " Their movements 
are mysterious, and the design of this movement not 
easily penetrated." As a matter of fact, there were few 
operations of the war which bore so directly upon the 
safety of the American army and the American cause, as 
the operations before Springfield during June, 1779 ; and 
the conduct of both armies indicated an appreciation of 
their importance. 


On the thirteenth of June, Congress, without consult 
ing Washington, appointed General Gates to the command 
of the Southern Department. Gates had spent the winter 
at his home in Virginia, but eagerly accepted this com 
mand, although he had lacked the physical vigor to 
engage in the Indian campaign in New York. His most 
intimate friend and companion, both in arms and in 
antagonism to Washington, Charles Lee, sent him one 
more letter. It was a wiser letter than earlier corre 
spondence had been, and decidedly prophetic. It closed 
with something like pathetic interest : " Take care that 
you do not exchange your Northern laurels for Southern 

At this time, it did seem as if the bitter cup would 
never be withdrawn from the lips of the American Com- 
mander-in-Chief ; for he had neither provisions for his 
army, nor the means of making welcome and comfortable 
his expected allies and guests from over the sea. 




SIR HENRY CLINTON returned from Charleston to 
New York on the seventeenth day of June, 1780. 
He must have contrasted his report made to the British 
War Office, of the " conquest of South Carolina," with 
that made by General Knyphausen to himself, of the 
recent experience of British operations in New Jersey. 
But Clinton was ever a man of action, prompt and ener 
getic. He felt deeply the long protracted embarrassment 
of his position, while holding such a vast and respon 
sible command without sufficient resources for pressing 
exigencies. He knew, and Washington, with a soldier s 
instinct, knew that Clinton knew, that there was no 
safety for New York, and no possibility of effective oper 
ations out from New York, so long as a strong, faithful 
American army held the fastnesses of New Jersey, and a 
vigorous espionage of the Hudson River region was 
maintained. The sweep of Washington s arm was largely 
shaping the future destiny of America from very humble 
headquarters ; but no less firmly and decisively. 

Clinton did not remain idle, nor undecided, a single 
day. Troops were embarked upon transports immedi 
ately ; and all suitable demonstrations were made as if 
an organized movement against West Point were de 
signed. Washington placed his entire army in motion 
and advanced one division eleven miles, toward Pompton, 



on the twenty-second, en route for the Hudson, to 
be prepared for whatever might be the scheme of his 
adversary. His confidential agents in New York were 
always quick to report details of British movements. 
Washington invariably exacted "minute" details; and 
from these he interpreted the general plans of the enemy. 
In this instance, the embarking of field batteries instead 
of heavy guns, which could always be procured from 
ships, satisfied him that his own headquarters and the 
destruction of his army were Clinton s real objectives. 

He was prepared for Clinton s choice of the alternate 
movements. Although one division had been advanced 
in the direction of the Hudson River, Generals Greene, 
Maxwell, and Stark, with Harry Lee s cavalry, and u 
strong force of militia, had been left in position near 
Springfield. Few battles of the American Revolution 
have received less attention, as among the decisive battles 
of the war, than that of Springfield, N.J. And yet few 
Avere more strikingly illustrative of the strategic wisdom 
with which Washington had planned the successful prose 
cution of the war, as early as 1776. 

On the morning of the twenty-third, at live o clock, 
the British army, having crossed from State n Island in 
two columns, began its advance. (See maps, "Battle of 
Springfield," and, " Operations in New Jersey.") Its 
force consisted of five thousand infantry, nearly all of 
their cavalry, and eighteen pieces of artillery. General 
Clinton, with the right wing, advanced along the Spring 
field road with vigor, but deliberately, as if this were his 
principal line of attack. Upon approaching the first 
bridge near the Matthews House, he was obliged to halt 
until his guns could gain a suitable position, since Colonel 
Angel s Rhode Island regiment, with one gun, commanded 
the bridge over the Rah way, and occupied an orchard 
which gave good cover. At first, the British guns were 


aimed too high and did little execution. By fording the 
stream, which was not more than twelve yards wide, 
Angel s position was turned, so that he was crowded 
back to the second bridge, over a branch of the Rah way, 
where Colonel Shreve resisted with equal obstinacy and 
bravery. By reference to the map it will be seen that 
General Greene, as well as Dickinson s militia on a slight 
ridge in the rear of Shreve, was admirably posted for 
reserve support. Angel lost one-fourth of his men and 
was ordered to fall back, with Colonel Shreve, to the high 
ground occupied by Generals Maxwell and Stark, near a 
mill. Colonel Dayton s Regiment was also distinguished 
for its gallant conduct. Washington Irving refers very 
pleasantly to the part taken in the action by Chaplain 
Caldwell, whose church had been burned on the twenty- 
fifth of January and whose wife had been killed on the 
sixth of June, as follows: "None showed more ardor in 
the tight than Caldwell the chaplain, who distributed 
Watts s psalm and hymn books among the soldiers when 
they were in want of wadding, with the shout: Put 
Watts into them, boys ! " 

The other British column had for its special objective 
the seizure of the pass leading to Chatham and Morris- 
town. Major Lee s cavalry, and a picket under Captain 
Walker, had been posted at Little s bridge, on the Vaux- 
hall road, and Colonel Ogden s Regiment covered them. 
General Greene found that he could not afford to hold so 
extensive a front, and concentrated his force at other 
positions eminently strong and capable of vigorous de 
fence. The remainder of Maxwell s and Stark s brigades 
also took high ground, by the mill, with the militia force 
of Dickinson, on the flanks. 

General Knyphausen led this column in person. But 
the Vauxhall bridge was as closely contested as had been 
that at Springfield. Greene shifted his position, in view 


of this second attack and its pronounced objective, to ai 
range of hills in the rear of Byron s tavern, where the 
roads were brought so near, that succor might be readily 
transferred from one to the other. The movement was 
admirable, scientific, and successful. In his report to 
Washington, he says : " I was thus enabled to reach 
Colonel Webb s Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Hunton 
commanding, and Colonel Jackson s Regiment, with one 
piece of artillery, which entirely checked the advance of 
the enemy upon the American left, and secured that 

The Battle of Springfield had been fought with cool 
ness and unfaltering bravery, and had been won. General 
Clinton burned Springfield, crossed to Staten Island at 
midnight, withdrew his bridge of boats, and reached his 
headquarters in safety. His loss, as reported by con 
temporary journalists, was placed at about one hundred 
and fifty men ; but comparison of his Reports and Musters, 
before and after the expedition, make the killed, wounded, 
and missing twice that number. The American lossYwas 
one officer and twelve non-commissioned officers killed, 
five officers and fifty-six privates wounded, and nine 
missing; " Captain Davis and the militia not reporting." 

General Clinton s report says: "I could not think of 
keeping the field in New Jersey ; and wished to land the 
troops and give a camp of rest to an army of which many 
corps had had an uninterrupted campaign of fourteen 

For five years, New Jersey had been a constant theatre 
of active war. It was indeed the strategic centre of the 
war for American Independence. The bravery of her 
soldiery, whose homes were constantly menaced, was 
only surpassed by the heroism of her women. These, 
constantly exposed to every possible desolation that 
attended the marching and counter-marching of contend- 


ing armies, never flagged, flinched, nor failed, until her 
delivery was at last complete. 

On the night of June 24, 1780, the day after the Battle 
of Springfield, Washington, upon return to his head 
quarters, addressed another call to Governors of States 
for their full quota, under new assignments, and awaited 
with interest further tidings from the progress of the 
French allies, then on the sea. This Battle of Spring 
field had vindicated his confidence in the Continental 
troops ; and, as in all armies, some regiments proved in 
variably reliable, under whatever conditions they fought. 

On the tenth day of July, 1780, the first division of 
the French army sent by Louis XVI., in aid of American 
Independence, consisting of six thousand troops, landed 
at Newport, R.I. All were under the command of Lieu 
tenant-General Rochambeau, accompanied by Major- 
General Chastellux, a relative of Lafayette, and escorted 
by seven heavy battleships, under command of Chevalier 
de Ternay. 

Washington immediately submitted a project for the 
capture of New York ; but on the thirteenth of July 
Admiral Graves reached that city with six ships-of-the- 
line, which gave to the British such superiority of ships 
and guns, that the plan was postponed to wait the arrival 
of the second French division, of equal numbers, which 
was supposed, at the time, to be already on its way from 
France. But Sir Henry Clinton was not inactive. The 
time to strike was before the French could unite with 
Washington and take their place in the American army. 
He planned a surprise, arid advanced with eight thousand 
troops as far as Huntington, L.I., for a descent upon 
Newport ; but Washington put his entire army in readi 
ness to advance upon New York. Clinton, having learned 
that Rochambeau, advised by Washington, had gone into 
camp in a strong position, and with the rapidly asseni- 


bling militia would ho superior in force, recalled his 
troops. He converted the expedition into a naval block- 
ade of Newport, if possible thereby to cut off the second 
division of the French army, upon its arrival within 
American waters. 

The Count de Rochambeau, with a soldier s exactness, 
soon caught the fire of Washington s zeal, and well com 
prehended the situation of American affairs generally. 
So intense is his delineation of the condition of things as 
he observed them, that if penned by Washington himself, 
nothing could have been added. His letter to the Count 
de Verge-lines, dated on July sixteenth, only six days after 
his landing in America, reads, in part, as follows : " Upon 
our arrival here, the country was in consternation ; the 
paper money had fallen to sixty for one. ... I 
spoke to the principal persons of the place, and told 
them, as I write to General Washington, that this was 
merely the advance-guard of a greater force, and that the 
king was determined to support them Avith his whole 
power. In twenty-four hours their spirits rose, and last 
night, all the streets, houses, and steeples were illumi 
nated, in the midst of fireworks and great rejoicing. . . . 
You see, Sir, how important it is to act with vigor. . . . 
Send us troops, ships, and money ; but do not depend upon 
this people, nor upon their means. They have neither 
money nor credit. Their means of resistance are but 
momentary, and called forth when they are attacked in 
their homes. Then they assemble themselves for the 
moment of immediate danger, and defend themselves. 
Washington sometimes commands fifteen thousand, and 
sometimes three thousand men." 

The restriction of the French fleet to Narragansett Bay 
so immediately after its arrival, led Washington and 
Rochambeau to postpone operations against New York ; 
and it is proper to notice the fact that no news was 


received of the second division of French troops until late 
in the fall, when it was reported as blockaded in the home 
port of Brest. A proclamation was made and published 
by Lafayette, with the sanction of Washington, announc 
ing to the Canadians that the French would aid them to 
expel the British troops from their country. The object 
of this proclamation was chiefly to divert the attention of 
the garrison of New York from a proposed joint attack 
upon that city, which Washington kept always in view. 
The expedition was never seriously entertained ; but 
General Clinton, on the thirty-first of August, as antici 
pated by Washington, forwarded a copy of the paper to 
Lord Germaine, while at the same time he placed before 
him, in confidence, a proposition of a different kind, from 
which he derived a strong expectation of British gain, 
through the acquisition, by purchase, of the principal 
Hudson River military post, West Point itself. 

Washington had advised General Arnold that he would 
soon be tendered an active command. But that officer, 
pleading as excuse continued suffering from his wounds, 
expressed a preference for the command of a military 
post. After urgent solicitation of himself and his friends, 
he was authorized to designate the post of his choice. 
As the result, on the third of August, he was assigned to 
the command of "West Point and its dependencies, in 
which all are included, from Fishkill to King s Ferry." 
At the date of this assignment of Arnold to a post which 
was rightly regarded by Washington as most vital to 
ultimate American success, a clandestine correspondence 
had already passed between Generals Clinton and Arnold, 
through the medium of Major John Andre. 

The attention of the reader is naturally retrospective, 
as the name of Andre reappears in connection with that 
of Arnold. He had been taken prisoner at St. John s ; 
was once on parole at Montreal, and familiar with Arnold s 

ARNOLD. 289 

habits and the outrageous abuse of his public trust with 
which, there, as afterwards at Philadelphia, he had been 
charged. Andre also knew of his gambling, his extrava 
gance, his ambition, and his reckless daring, generally, 
His own personal antecedents during the grand ovation 
tendered to General Howe, upon that officer s departure 
from Philadelphia, in which he had so conspicuously 
figured as escort to Miss Shippen, afterwards the wife of 
Arnold, acquire special interest. He was, and long had 
been, a confidential member of General Clinton s staff. 
Neither Clinton nor Andre could conceive, for a mo 
ment, that Arnold and his wife, formerly Miss Shippen, 
would betray Andre s confidence ; or, if the proposition 
to betray West Point failed, that Andre would be allowed 
to suffer. 

On the twenty-fifth of August, General Clinton wrote 
to Lord Germaine as follows : " At this new epoch of 
the war, when a foreign foe has already landed, and an 
addition to it is expected, I owe it to my country, and T 
must in justice say, to my own fame, to declare to your 
lordship that I become every day more sensible of the 
utter impossibility of prosecuting the war in this country 
without reinforcements. . . . We are, by some 
thousands, too weak to subdue the rebellion." On the 
twenty-seventh of September, Lord Germaine wrote 
in reply : " Next to the destruction of Washington s army, 
the gaining over of officers of influence and reputation 
among the troops would be the speediest way of subdu 
ing the rebellion and restoring the tranquillity of America. 
Your commission authorizes you to avail yourself of such 
opportunities, and there can be no doubt that the expense 
will be cheerfully submitted to." The British archives, 
then secret, show that Lord Germaine was kept fully 
advised of the whole scheme. On the thirtieth of 
August, Arnold solicited an interview with some respon- 


sible party, in order definitely to settle upon the price 
of surrendering West Point to Great Britain. Andre 
was selected, as mutually agreeable to both Clinton and 
Arnold. On the eighteenth of September, Arnold wrote, 
advising that Andre be sent up to the sloop-of-war 
Vulture, then anchored in Haverstraw Bay, promising 
to send a person with a flag of truce and boat to meet 
him. Clinton received the note 011 the next day. Under 
the pretence of an expedition to Chesapeake Bay, freely 
made public, a body of picked troops embarked on frig 
ates. Andre readied the Vulture on the twentieth. On 
the twenty-first he landed, met Arnold, accompanied 
him first to the Clove, and then to the house of Josiah 
Holt Smith. (See map, "Highlands of the Hudson.") 
Smith s antecedents were those of a royalist ; but the 
secret was too valuable to be intrusted to such a man ; 
and subsequent investigations failed to connect him with 
any knowledge of the conspiracy. The terms of purchase 
were, in so many words : "Pay, in gold, and a brigadier- 
general s commission in the British Army." 

The terms were settled and the bargain was closed. 
Besides knowledge of the plans of the post and its 
approaches, Andre was advised of the signals to be 
exchanged ; the disposition of the guards ; and the points 
of surest attack which would be within the immediate 
control of disembarking grenadiers and sharp-shoot 
ers. The Vulture had dropped down the river with the 
tide too far to be promptly reached ; so that Andre 
crossed the river, and having proper passports attempted 
to save time by returning to New 7 York by land. While 
passing through Tarrytown, he was challenged, stopped, 
examined, and made prisoner. On the second of 
October, he was executed as a spy. America grieved 
over his fate, and no one with more of pity than did 
Washington. His soul still felt sore over the fate of 

GATES. 291 

Nathan Hale, and after a solitary hour of anguish in 
spirit, he suggested to General Clinton a method of 
escape for Andre. He offered to exchange him for Bene 
dict Arnold. Clinton could not do this without loss of 
honor to himself and Great Britain, Andre had to die. 
Washington, with tender consideration and profound 
sympathy, gave to Mrs. Arnold a safe conduct and escort 
to her former home in Philadelphia, and shared the senti 
ment of all who knew her best, that the wife was not the 
confidante of her husband s treason. Lafayette most ten 
derly announced his sympathy in her behalf. 

General Greene was immediately assigned to command 
West Point and its dependencies. The garrison was 
also entirely changed. The works were skilfully modi 
fied and strengthened, so that any plans in the possession 
of Clinton would be useless ; and Washington took post, 
in person, at Brakeness, near Passaic Falls, N.J. 

It will be remembered that Baron De Kalb left Morris- 
town on the sixteenth of the previous April with ree n- 
forcenients for the Southern army. On the sixth of 
July, he reached Buffalo Ford and Deep River, N.C. 
On the twenty-fifth, Gates, who had been assigned to 
command of the Southern Department, joined him. 
"Away from Washington," Baron De Kalb experienced 
deeply the sentiment of unreasonable, but perhaps natu 
ral jealousy of foreign officers which pervaded portions of 
the American army ; and General Caswell, in defiance of 
positive orders to report to Baron De Kalb, marched 
directly to Camden and reported to General Gates. It 
had been De Kalb s purpose, as an experienced soldier, 
to advance by Charlotte and Salisbury, where supplies 
could be readily obtained. " General Gates," says Irving, 
" on the twenty-seventh, put what he called the r Grand 
Army on its march through a barren country which 
could offer no food but lean cattle, fruit, and unripe 


maize." The Battle of Camden, or "Sanders Creek," 
which followed, was a complete rout. Baron De Kalb 
fought with the utmost confidence and bravery, but fell 
upon the field, after having been eleven times wounded. 
Any support whatever, on the part of Gates, would have 
secured victory, or a well-balanced action. Gates over 
estimated his own force ; refused to examine his Adjutant- 
General s statement, or to consider the advice of his 
officers, who understood exactly the true condition of the 
crude material which he styled his " Grand Army," and 
fled from the battlefield at full speed. He did not halt 
until reaching Charlotte, sixty miles away ; and by the 
twentieth reached Hillsborough, one hundred and eighty 
miles distant, without gathering a sufficient force to form 
an escort. He said that he was " carried away from the 
field by a torrent of flying soldiers." His self-conceit 
and presumption, like that of Lee, on account of having 
once served in the British army, and his utter want of 
every soldierly quality, except the negative sense of 
pride in having a personal command, were exposed to 
the American people without delay. He claimed to have 
made an attempt to rally his troops ; but he had no influ 
ence whatever. During the Burgoyne campaign, he was 
never under fire ; and Lee s unheeded warning did indeed 
secure to his memory the wreath of " Southern willow, in 
place of that of laurel " which Congress had placed upon 
his brow, when the laurel had been earned by the brave 
and patriotic Schuyler. The troops of Delaware and 
Maryland alone would have saved the battle, if properly 
supported by Gates. The gallant Delaware Battalion 
which fought with De Kalb, was almost destroyed. The 
Maryland troops lost in killed, wounded and prisoners 
nearly four hundred, out of a total of fourteen hundred : 
but to their perpetual honor it is to be recorded, that of the 
number swept away in the final retreat of the whole army, 


seven hundred non-commissioned officers and privates 
reported for duty by the twenty-ninth of the month. 

On the eighth of October, the Battle of King s Moun 
tain was fought ; and the names of Shelby, Campbell, 
McDowell, Sevier, and Williams are still associated with 
descendants from the brave participants in that battle. 
It partially offset the disaster at Camden, and was an 
inspiration to Washington in the adjustment of his plans 
for Greene s movements. It compelled Cornwallis to 
delay his second invasion of North Carolina ; and Tarle- 
ton, in writing, says of this people, that "the counties 
of Mecklenburg and Rowan w T ere more hostile to Eng 
land than any others in America." 

Gates endeavored to gather the remnant of his army ; 
and, before his leaving to answer before a Court of Inquiry 
ordered by Congress, about twenty-three hundred men 
assembled. On inspection, it was found that but eight 
hundred in the whole number were properly clothed and 

The Southern campaign became one of petty operations 
mostly. Neither Cornwallis, Tarlcton, Rawdon, nor 
Balfour made progress in subjugation of the people. 
Sumner, although wounded at Black s Plantation on the 


twentieth of October, gained credit in several lesser expe 
ditions. But universal British failures disappointed the 
expectations of the British Commander-in-Chief at New 
York. The loss of Charleston, in the opinion of Wash 
ington and the best military critics, was not without its 
compensations ; and the collapse of Gates was an illus 
tration of Washington s knowledge of men and his fore 
sight as a Soldier. 


AS a bird s overlook of its wide field of vision can 
not comprehend all objects within range, except in 
turn, so must the patient reader comeback again to stand 
behind Washington and look over his shoulder as he points 
the glass of observation to the activities which he in turn 
surveys ; to catch with him their import, and so far as 
possible strain the eye of faith with him, while with 
slowly sweeping supervision he comprehends all that the 
war for American Independence has intrusted to his care. 
Mountain and valley, ocean and river, marsh and morass, 
cave and ravine, are representatives of the various scenes 
of agitation and conflict. The entire land is in excited 
expectancy, and everywhere war is waged ; but beyond 
and over all these contending conditions he discerns the 
even horizon of assured victory. And just now, immedi 
ately at hand, under his very feet, as well as wherever 
partisan warfare tears life out of sweet homes for the 
sprinkling of liberty s altar, there is indescribable pain 
and anguish. His heart bleeds with theirs ; for he is one 
with them, and they are one with him, in the willing 
consecration which generations yet unborn shall forever 

And as the year 1780 came to its close, he drew his 
sword-girth tighter, and seemed to stand many inches 
taller, as he embraced, in one reflected view, the suffer 
ing South and the half-asleep North. Between the two 



sections there was some restless impatience over such exact 
ing contributions of fathers, brothers and sons, to regions 
so far from home ; and just about his humble sleeping quar 
ters, were suffering, faithful sharers of his every need. 

Tidings of the failure of Gates, with its disaster and its 
sacrifices of brave legions, did not reach the Commander- 
in-Chief until September. But it was impossible for him 
to send troops in sufficient numbers to cope with the 
army of Cornwallis. The second French division, so long 
expected (and never realized), was reported to be block 
aded at home, and of no possible immediate use to 
America. The British fleet still blockaded Newport. 
Lafayette did indeed elaborate a plan for an assault upon 
New York, Fort Washington, and Staten Island ; but the 
plan was abandoned through lack of boats for such 
extended water-carriage. There were few periods of the 
war where more diverse and widely separated interests 
required both the comprehensive and the minute consid 
eration of the American Commander-in-Chief. 

A few illustrations represent the many. Forts Ann 
and George were captured, by a mixed force of Cana 
dians, Indians, and British regulars, in October. Fort 
Edward was saved through the sagacity of Colonel Living 
ston ; who, having a garrison of only seventy-nine men, 
averted attack by sending to the commanding officer of 
Fort George an exaggerated report of his own strength, 
with a promise to come to his aid. This was designed 
to be intercepted, and the British regulars had actually 
approached Saratoga, before their return to Lake Cham- 
plain. An excursion from Fort Niagara into the Mohawk 
Valley desolated the homes of the Oneidas, who were 
friendly to the United States. Some leaders in certain 
Vermont circles corresponded with British officials in 
Canada ; and such was the uneasiness which prevailed alon<r 
the northern and northwestern frontier, that three re<ri- 


inents had to be sent to Albany, to compose the unrest of 
that single region. On the seventh of November, Wash 
ington wrote : " The American army is experiencing 
almost daily want ; while the British army derives ample 
supplies from a trade with "New York, New Jersey, and 
Connecticut, which has by degrees become so common 
that it is hardly thought a crime." 

Early in September, a commercial treaty between Hol 
land and the United States came under consideration, and 
Colonel Laurens was sent as commissioner to conduct the 
negotiations abroad ; but he was taken prisoner and 
locked up in the Tower of London, to stand trial on the 
charge of high treason against the British crown. His 
papers were seized, and on the second day of December, 
Great Britain declared war against Holland. 

The condition of Great Britain, at that time, was in 
deed one of supreme trial; and it is well for the people 
of America to honor the inherent forces of British liberty 
which vindicated, under such adverse ruling conditions, 
the very principles for which their brethren fought in 
America. It was the one solemn hour in British history 
when America, if fostered as a trusted and honored 
child, would have spared England long years of waste in 
blood and treasure. Not only were Spain and France 
combined to plunder or acquire her West India posses 
sions ; but Spain was pressing the siege of Gibraltar. 
Both Denmark and Sweden united with Catharine of 
Russia to adopt the famous system of " Armed Neutral 
ity," which declared that " free ships make free goods," 
and that " neutrals might carry any goods or supplies 
wherever they pleased, with complete immunity from 
search or capture." That was a deadly blow at British 
commerce. Even in the East Indies, her crown was one 
of thorns. Hyder Ali swept through the Province of 
Madras, and Warren Hastings was contending for very 


life, to save British rule in India from overthrow-: France 
sent aid to Hyder AH, as well as to America ; and was 
thus, at this very period, unexpectedly limited in her 
anticipated contributions to the army of Washington. 

Domestic excitements increased Britain s burdens. 
Flighty thousand volunteers had been enrolled in Ireland 
in view of apprehended French invasion. A large num 
ber of her statesmen favored " peace at any price/ The 
wonderful capacity of Great Britain to withstand external 
force and to uncover the equally wonderful resources at. 
her command, ought to have convinced her rulers that 
on the same basis, and by a legitimate inheritance, the 
American Colonies were unconquerable. 

On the eleventh of November, General Sullivan, having 
resigned, took his seat in Congress. Qn the twentieth, 
Washington thus addressed him : 

f Congress will deceive themselves, if they imagine that 
the army, or a State, that is the theatre of war, can rub 
through another campaign as the last. It would be as 
unreasonable to suppose that because a man had rolled a 
snow-ball till it had acquired the size of a horse, he might 
do it until it was the size of a house. Matters may be 
pushed to a certain point, beyond which we cannot move 
them. Ten months pay is now due the army. Every 
department of it is so much indebted that we have not 
credit for a single expense, and some of the States are 
harassed and oppressed to a degree beyond bearing. . . , 
To depend, under these circumstances, upon the resources 
of the country, unassisted by foreign bravery, will, I am 
confident, be to lean upon a broken reed." 

At a conference held with Count Rochambeau at Hart 
ford, Conn., it had been proposed by General Sul 
livan, " that the French fleet seek Boston, and the French 
army join Washington " ; but this was impracticable. 
The stay at Newport prevented the operations of the 


British blockading fleet elsewhere along the southern 
Atlantic coast ; and thus far, restricted British move 
ments generally. As early as October sixteenth, General 
Leslie left New York with three thousand troops ; landed 
at Portsmouth, Va., and joined Cornwallis at Charles 
ton late in December. A son of Rochambeau left New 
port on the eighteenth of October, ran the gauntlet of 
the British fleet, in a gale, safely reached France, .and 
urged " immediate additional aid of men, arms, and 
money " The Chevalier de Ternay died at Newport, on 
the fifteenth of December, and was succeeded by Chevalier 
Destouches. Colonel Fleury, who will be remembered 
as distinguishing himself at Fort Mifflin and Stony Point, 
joined Rochambeau. These gallant French officers, like 
their sovereign, were so devoted to Washington, and en 
tertained such absolute faith in his capacity as patriot and 
soldier, that the narrative of his career during the war 
would savor of ingratitude if their faithful service were 
not identified with his memory. At that time, there was 
a design under consideration, but never matured, for the 
association of Spain with France in active operations on 
the American coast. 

Meanwhile, Washington proposed another plan for the 
reconstruction of the army, through the consolidation of 
battalions ; thereby reducing their numbers, but fixing a 
permanent military establishment. It will appear from 
a letter written to Franklin on the twentieth of Decem 
ber, that he had reached a point, where, even under so 
many embarrassments, he felt that ultimate success was 
not far distant. The letter reads as follows : " The cam 
paign has been thus inactive, after a flattering prospect 
at the opening of it and vigorous struggles to make it a 
decisive one, through failure of the unexpected naval 
superiority which was the pivot upon which everything 
turned. The movements of Lord Cornwallis during 1 the 



last month or two have been retrograde. What turn the 
late reinforcements which have been sent him may give 
to his affairs, remains to be known. I have reenforced our 
Southern army principally with horse ; but the length of 
the march is so much opposed to the measure that every 
corps is in a greater or less degree ruined. I am happy, 
however, in assuring you that a better disposition never 
prevailed in the Legislatures of the several States than at 
this time. The folly of temporary expedients is seen into 
and exploded ; and vigorous efforts will be used to obtain 
a permanent army, and carry on the war systematically, 
if the obstinacy of Great Britain shall compel us to con 
tinue it. AVe want nothing: but the aid of a loan, to en- 


able us to put our finances into a tolerable train. The 
country does not want for resources ; but we want the 
means of drawing them forth." 

The new organization was to consist of fifty regiments 
of foot, four of artillery, and other bodies of mounted men, 
including in all, thirty-six thousand men, fairly appor 
tioned among the States. But not more than half that 
number were ever in the field at one time, and the full 
complement never was recruited. The prejudice against 
a regular army of any size was bitter ; and Hildreth states 
the matter very truthfully when he says, that "Congress, 
led by Samuel Adams, was very jealous of military power, 
and of everything which tended to give a permanent 
character to the army." Mr. Adams was sound in principle, 
for he not only realized that the Colonies had suffered 
through the employment of the British army to enforce 
oppressive and unconstitutional laws, but equally well 
knew that a larger army than the State needed for its 
protection against invasion and the preservation of the 
peace, was inimical to true liberty. 

Money was still scarce. A specie tax of six millions 
was imposed, and the sixth annual campaign of the war 


drew near its close. John Trumbull, Jr. , became Secretary 
to the Commander-in-Chief, vice Robert H. Harrison who 
became Chief Justice of Maryland ; and Colonel Hand 
became Adjutant-General, vice Scamraon, resigned. Mor 
gan was promoted, and with General Steuben and Harry 
Lee s horse, was ordered to the Southern Department, 
accompanied by Kosciusko as engineer, vice Du Portail, 
captured at Charleston. 

On the twenty-eighth of November, Washington desig 
nated the winter quarters for the army, establishing his 
own at New Windsor. The Pennsylvania Line were near 
Morristown ; the Jersey line, at Pompton ; the Maryland 
horse, at Lancaster, Penn. ; Sheldon s horse, at Col 
chester, Conn., and the New York regiments at Fort 
Schuyler, Saratoga, Albany, Schenectady, and other 
exposed Northern posts. This distribution of troops, 
from time to time indicated, enables the reader to under 
stand how a wise disposition of the army, when active 
operations Avere practically suspended, equally enabled 
Washington to resume active service upon the shortest 

On the eighth of October, General Greene, who had 
been tendered the command of the Southern Department, 
vice Gates, submitted to Washington his plan of conduct 
ing the next campaign. He desired, substantially, " a flying- 
army " ; that is, " one lightly equipped, mobile as possible, 
and familiar with the country in which operations were to 
be conducted." To secure to Greene prompt support in 
his new command, Washington addressed letters to Gov. 
Abner Nash, of North Carolina, Gov. Thomas Jefferson, of 
Virginia, and Gov. Thomas S. Lee, of Maryland, solicit 
ing their cordial cooperation in the work of the new De 
partment-Commander. Greene began his journey on the 
twenty-ninth day of November, attended by Baron Steu 
ben. He stopped at each capital to urge the necessity of 


immediate action, and secured the services of Generals 
Smallwood and Gist, of Maryland and Delaware, for re 
cruiting service in those States. Upon reaching Virginia, 
he found that State to be thoroughly aroused for her own 
defence. General Leslie, whose departure from New 
York has been noticed, had fortified both Norfolk and 
Portsmouth, and this increase of the British forces had 
very justly alarmed the people. Washington had already 
sent Generals Muhlenburg and Weedon to Virginia to 
organize its militia, and they were endeavoring to confine 
the forces of Leslie within the range of his fortified posi 
tions. These officers had also served under General 
Greene, making their assignment eminently judicious. 
The matter of supplies, of all kinds, became a matter of 
the greatest concern, if operations were to be carried on 
effectively against Corn wall is at the South : while also 
maintaining full correspondence with the troops of the 
centre zone, and the North. The consolidation of regi 
ments left many officers without commands ; but the 
selection of a competent Quartermaster-General became 
an imperative necessity. Col. Edward Carrington was 
selected, and of him, Chief Justice Marshall says: "He 
was eminently qualified to undertake the task of combin 
ing and conducting the means of the Quartermaster-Gen 
eral s department ; obeyed the call to the office ; and dis 
charged it with unequalled zeal and fidelity." 

For the purposes of this narrative, it is only necessary 
to indicate the general conduct of operations southward, 
so far as they illustrate the wisdom of Washington in 
the selection of officers, and the instructions under which 
he made use of their services. He concurred with Greene 
in his general plan ; and the initiative was undertaken 
with as frequent exchange of views, through express 
messengers or couriers, as was then practicable. Orders 
were issued for Colonel Carrington to explore the coun- 


try of the Dan, the Yadkin, and Catawba rivers, and to 
make himself acquainted with the streams into which 
they discharged themselves. Kosciusko, Engineer-in- 
Chief of Greene, was charged with selecting proper places 
for defending or securing safe fording-places. A princi 
pal storehouse and laboratory was established at Prince 
Edward s Court House, and Baron Steuben was charged 
with maintaining the supply of powder from the manu 
factories, and of lead from the mines of Fincastle County. 
Such was the general preparation for the forthcoming 

General Greene reached Charlotte on the second of 
December, and relieved Gates, who had been awaiting his 
arrival for the surrender of his command. After exchange 
of the proper courtesies, Gates returned to his farm. 
The wisdom of Washington s choice in the assignment of 

O O 

General Greene may be seen by the citation of some of 
Greene s letters written at that crisis. 

To Jefferson he Avrites thus : " I find the troops in a 
most wretched condition, destitute of every necessity, 
either for their comfort or convenience, and they may be 
literally said to be naked. It will answer no good purpose 
to send men here in such a condition. . . . There must 
be either pride, or principle, to make a soldier. No man 
will think himself bound to fisrht the battles of a State 


that leaves him to perish for want of clothing, nor can 
you inspire a soldier with the sentiment of pride while 
his situation renders him more an object of pity, than of 
envy. The life of a soldier, in the best estate, is liable 
to innumerable hardships : but when these are aggravated 
by the want of provisions and clothing, his condition 
becomes intolerable ; nor can men long contend with such 
complicated difficulties and distress. Death, desertion, 
and the hospital, must soon swallow up an army under 
such circumstances ; and if it were possible for men to 


maintain such a wretched existence, they would have no 
spirit to face their enemies, and would invariably disgrace 
themselves and their commander. It is impossible to 
presume discipline, when troops are in want of every 
thing : to attempt severity, will only thin the ranks by 
more heavy desertion." 

To Marion he wrote : fr I am fully sensible that your 
service is hard, and your sufferings great ; but how great 
the prize for w^hich we contend ! I like your plan of fre 
quently shifting your ground. It frequently prevents 
surprise, and perhaps the total loss of your party. Until 
a more permanent army can be collected than is in the 
field at present, we must endeavor to keep up a partisan 
war, and preserve the tide of sentiment among the 
people in our favor, as much as possible. Spies are the 
eyes of an army, and without them, a general is always 
groping in the dark." 

In all these letters and the measures undertaken, 
Greene reflects the principles upon which his Cornmander- 
in-Chief carried on the war, and it was his highest pride so 
to act, as if under the direct gaze of Washington. On 
the twentieth of December, having been detained by rains 
at Charlotte, he abandoned his huts ; and by the twelfth 
of January, 1781, was encamped on the banks of the 
Peedee River, awaiting the opening of the final campaign 
of the war for American Independence. Col. Chris 
topher Greene, as well as Colonel Washington, Harry 
Lee, and Morgan, had already joined him, and Washing 
ton had thus furnished to the Southern army his ablest 
general and such choice details of officers and men as had 
been faithful, gallant, and successful throughout the war. 



"TVTOTHING new or unfamiliar to the American student 
1 \l can be said as to the military operations of the 
British, French and American armies during the closing 
year of the war for American Independence ; but they 
may be so grouped in their relations to Washington as 
a Soldier, that he may stand forth more distinctly as 
both nominal and real Commander-in-Chief. His original 
commission, it will be remembered, was accompanied by 
the declaration of Congress that " they would maintain 
and assist him, and adhere to him, with their lives and 
fortunes, in the cause of American liberty." After the 
Battle of Trenton, when Congress solemnly declared that 
" the very existence of Civil Liberty depended upon the 
right execution of military powers " it invested him with 
dictatorial authority, being " confident of the wisdom, 
vigor, and uprightness of George Washington." And in 
1778, after the flash of the Burgoyne campaign had spent 
itself, and the experiences of the American army at Valley 
Forge attested the necessity for a fighting army under a 
fighting soldier, Washington was again intrusted with the 
reorganization of the army, both regular and militia, in 
respect of all elements of enlistment, outfit, and supply. 
From the date of his commission, through all his acts 
and correspondence, it has been evident, that he has been 
perfectly frank and consistent in his assignments of officers 



or troops, either to position or command ; and his judg 
ment of men and measures has had constant verification 
in realized experience. 

It was very natural for European monarchs, including 
Louis XVI., to behold in the very preeminent and asser 
tive force of Washington s character much of the " one- 


man power " which was the basis of their own asserted 
prerogative ; and there were astute and ambitious states 
men and soldiers of the Old World who hoped that a new 
empire, and a new personal dynasty, would yet arise in 
the western world, to be their associated ally against 
Great Britain herself. They did not measure the Ameri 
can Revolution by right standards ; because they could not 
conceive, nor comprehend the American conception of, a 
rr sovereign people." 

There was one foreign soldier in the American army, 
and of royal stock, who must have clung to Washington 
and his cause, with most ardent passion as well as obedi 
ent reverence. Nothing of sacrifice, exposure, or vile 
jealousy, whether in closet, camp, or field, amid winter s 
keenest blasts or summer s scorching fires, was beyond 
the life and soul experience of Thaddeus Kosciusko. His 
name, and that of Pulaski, so dear to Washington, and so 
true to him, should be ever dear to the American ; and in 
the history of their country s fall, there should ever be 
cherished a monumental recognition of ancient Poland and 
the Pole. 

It was one of the most striking characteristics of Wash 
ington s military life that he recognized and trusted so 
many of these heroic men whose lives had been nursed 
and developed in the cause of liberty and country. Such 
men as these beheld in Washington a superhuman regard 
for man, as man; and the youthful Lafayette almost wor 
shipped, w r hile he obeyed, until his entire soul was pene 
trated by the spirit and controlled by the example of his 


beloved Chief. Some of these, who survived until the 
opening of the year 1781, were able to realize that its 
successive months, however blessed in their ultimate 
fruition, were months in w r hich Washington passed under 
heavier yokes and through tougher ordeals than were 
those of Valley Forge or Yorktown. For the first time 
during the Revolutionary struggle, the American citizens 
who did the fighting might well compare their situation 
under the guardianship of the American Congress, with 
that of Colonial obligation under the British Parliament 
and the British crown. 

The fluctuations of numbers in the American army 
seemed very largely to depend upon its vicinity to 
endangered sections. Remoteness from the seaboard 
induced indifference to expenditures for the navy, because 
British ships could not operate on land ; and seaboard 
towns, which were constantly in peril, insisted upon 
retaining their able-bodied militia within easy reach, 
until armed vessels could be built and assigned for their 
protection. The same unpatriotic principle of human 
nature affected all supplies of food and clothing. It has 
already been noticed that Washington was profoundly 
grieved that country people courted the British markets 
of New York, and that British gold was of such mighty 
weight in the balance of " stay-at-home comfort," against 
personal experience in some distant camp. Starvation 
and suffering could not fail to arouse resistance to their 
constraints. The condition of the army was one of pro 
tracted agony. Lafayette wrote home to his wife as 
follows: "Human patience has its limits. No European 
army would suffer one-tenth part of what the Americans 
suffer. It takes citizens, to support hunger, nakedness, 
toil, and the total want of pay, which constitute the con 
dition of our soldiers, the hardiest and most patient 
that are to be found in the world." 


Marshall states the case fairly when he asserts that 
"it was .not easy to persuade the military, that their 
brethren in civil life were unable to make greater exer 
tions in support of the war, or, that its burdens could not 
be more equally borne." 

On Xew Year s Day, January 1, 1781, the Pennsylvania 
line (Continentals) revolted, and Captain Billings was 
killed in the effort to suppress the outbreak. Thirteen 
hundred men, with six guns, started for Philadelphia. 
Wayne was powerless to control even his own command ; 
and so advised Washington. The Commander-in -Chief 
was at tirst impelled to leave Xew Windsor and go in 
person to the camps ; but knowing that he had troops 
who would obey him, whatever conditions might arise, 
he addressed himself to this state of affairs with a dignity, 
deliberation, and sympathy, so calm and yet so impres 
sive, that he both retained the full prestige of his posi 
tion, and secured full control of the disaffection. He 
allowed passion to subside ; and then resolved to execute 
his own will, at all hazards. The details of his mental 
struggle, and the precautionary measures taken by him 
to master the situation, with eager and excited veterans 
at his back to enforce his will, would fill a volume. 
Recognizing the neglect of State authorities to furnish 
their own respective regiments with food, clothing, and 
money, he proudly, sublimely, and with a dignity beyond 
any heroic act of the battlefield, called upon the Gov 
ernors of the Northern States to send their militia, at 
once, to take care of Clinton * army in New York, if 
they wished to prevent the invasion and waste of their 
own peaceful homes. In other words, as plainly as he 
could do it, he made the " stay-at-homes " responsible for 
their own further immunity from battle scenes and battle 

This mutiny was indeed, a natural outbreak, inevitable, 


irresistible ! It did not impair loyalty to country. The 
emergency overwhelmed every purely military obligation 
in that of self-preservation of life itself. It did 
impair discipline, and did disregard authority, for the 
time; but in its manifestations had many of the elements 
of lawful revolution. The State first failed in duty to its 
defenders. For such a cause, the Revolution had its first 
outbreaks at Lexington and Concord. Washington was 
never so great in arms, as when with calm trust and 
steady nerve he faced this momentous issue. Besides his 
demand upon the States most exposed to British incur 
sions, for men, he demanded money. Massachusetts and 
New Hampshire promptly gave twenty-four dollars extra, 
in specie, to each enlisted man. Colonel Laurens was 
appointed as special agent to France, to secure a loan. 
Eventually, he succeeded ; but Count de Vergennes, 
when advised of his mission, wrote on the fifteenth of 
February : " Congress relies too much on France for 
subsidies to maintain their army. They must absolutely 
refrain from such exorbitant demands. The great ex 
penses of the war render it impossible for France to meet 
these demands, if persisted in." Franklin, then at Paris, 
wrote to his daughter, Mrs. Balche : " If you see Wash 
ington, assure him of my very great and sincere respect, 
and tell him that all the old Generals here amuse them 
selves in studying the accounts of his operations, and 
approve highly of his conduct." Lafayette also wrote, 
urging full supplies of men and money ; with most 
pointed assurances that the American States would 
surely realize success, and be amply able to refund all 
advances which might be made by the king." 

Up to this time, the individuality of the States, in 
spite of Washington s repeated appeals for entire unity of 
purpose and action on the part of all, had been jealously 
maintained. A partial relief was afforded, when, on the 


second of March, 1781, the Articles of Confederation 
finally went into effect, Maryland having yielded her 
assent on the previous day. Four years and four months 
had elapsed since their formal adoption and submission to 
the several States for acceptance. 

All the insubordination of the American army before 
referred to, was well known at British headquarters in 
New York. That of the previous year had disappointed 
both Clinton and Knyphausen, who invaded New Jersey, 
it will be remembered, hoping to reap some benefits from 
its expression ; but now that it assumed such unmistak 
able signs of armed revolt, they doubled their interest in 
its movements. General Clinton, mindful of his error on 
a former occasion, simply watched Washington. He re 
ceived information of the general insubordination as early 
as Washington, and on the morning of the twenty-third, 
sent messengers to the American army with propositions 
looking to their return to British allegiance. He entirely 
misconceived the nature of the disaffection, and his agents 
were retained in custody. In writing to Lord Germaine, 
he says : " General Washington has not moved a man 
from his army [near West Point] as yet ; and as it is 
probable that their demands are nearly the same with the 
Pennsylvania line, it is not thought likely that he will. 
I am, however, in a situation to avail myself of favorable 
events ; but to stir before they offer, might mar all." 

At this period, the influence of the American Commis 
sioners Adams, Franklin and Jay, was proving very 
beneficial to the American cause with the Governments of 
Spain and Holland, as well as with France ; and Colonel 
Laurens, upon his arrival at Paris, after release from 
prison, pretty plainly assured the French Ministry that 
it " would be much wiser policy to advance money to 
America, than to risk such an accommodation with Eng 
land as would compel America, so near her West India 


possessions, to make common cause with England against 
France." Notwithstanding these negotiations, then in 
progress, the American army had become reduced to an 
effective force of barely five thousand men ; and the French 
army could not be disposable for general service while 
their fleets were so closely confined to the harbor of New 
port. The British fleet was wintering at Gardiner s Bay, 
L.I., so as to watch all vessels that entered or departed 
from Long Island Sound, and maintained its blockade. 
Late in January a violent north-east storm made havoc 
with the British ships. The Culloden, line-of-battle 
ship (74 guns), was sunk. The Bedford was dis 
masted, and the America was driven to sea. Wash 
ington seized upon this incident to make a diversion 
southward and attempt the capture of Arnold, who was 
in full commission as a brigadier-general of the British 

Arnold had left New York with sixteen hundred men, 
on the nineteenth of the preceding December, for 
Virginia. His command consisted of the eighteenth 

O G> 

British (Scotch) regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Dundas, 
and the Queen s Rangers, Lieutenant-Colonel Simcoe ; 
the latter being a skilful officer, shrewd and cool, but 
noted, in the heat of battle, for characteristic ferocity in 
shortening fights, and thus reducing the number of 
wounded prisoners to be cared for. Clinton seems not 
to have fully relied upon the discretion of Arnold, since 
he reports, having fr detailed two officers of tried ability 
and experience, and possessing the entire confidence of 
their commander." As with so many naval expeditions 
of that period, a gale overtook Arnold on the twenty- 
sixth and twenty-seventh of December, scattering his 
transports, so that without waiting for those still at sea, 
he landed with twelve hundred men and moved up the 
James River on the fourth of January. He landed at 


Westover, twenty-five miles below Richmond, and imme 
diately marched upon the city. On the afternoon of the 
fifth, he entered Richmond. The militia, under Col. 
John Nichols, only two hundred in number, assembled 
upon Richmond Hill, but had to retire before Simcoe s 
advance. A few men stationed on Shrcve Hill, also re 
tired. At Westham, seven miles above Richmond, a 
foundry, a laboratory, and some shops were destroyed, as 
well as the Auditor s Records, which had been removed 
from Richmond for safety. Arnold sent a proposition to 
Governor Jefferson, offering to spare the city if no op 
position were made to his vessels ascending the river to 
remove tobacco and other legitimate plunder of Avar. 
Upon rejection of this proposition, he burned so much of 
the city as time allowed, and returned to Westover, with 
out loss. He carried oft seven brass cannon, three hun 
dred stands of arms found in the loft of the Capitol, and a 
few quartermasters stores, as his sole trophies of war. 
Upon information, however, that Baron Steuben was at 
Petersburg with some militia, Arnold hastened to Ports 
mouth to put its defences in better condition. 




BEFORE developing Washington s plan for the capt 
ure of Benedict Arnold, it is advisable to glance 
at the military condition of the Southern Department in 
which Arnold was then serving in command of British 
troops. Lafayette had been intrusted with execution of 
the plan. He knew perfectly well that Arnold would 
not venture far from his fortified position at Portsmouth, 
and thus incur risk of capture and an inevitable death 
upon the gibbet. 

The assignment of General Greene to the command of 
that department was designed by Washington, for the 
purpose of initiating a vigorous campaign against all 
posts occupied by British garrisons, and gradually to 
clear that country of the presence of British troops. 
He had great confidence in such men as Marion, Sumter, 
Hampton, and other partisan leaders, who were perpetu 
ally on the alert, by night and by day, for opportunities 
to repress royalist risings, and harass the enemy at every 
possible point of contact. It was very natural, then, 
to overestimate the British successes at Savannah and 
Charleston, and even to assume that the British army 
would be uniformly equal to active campaign service, and 
would not find it difficult to maintain supplies in the 
field. In view of the condition of roads, water-courses, 
swamps, and the limited agricultural improvements of 



those times, it is greatly to the credit of the British offi 
cers that so much was accomplished by them, in the face 
of the partisan operations above noticed. 

Washington appreciated this condition fully ; urged 
the Southern governors to renewed activity, and fur 
nished General Greene with instructions respecting what 
he regarded as the final campaign of the war. The first 
element of success which he enjoined as a duty was "to 
avoid battle with fresh British troops, just out of garrison, 
and therefore in complete readiness for action." The 
second injunction was, " so far as possible, to give a par 
tisan or skirmish character to engagements where infe 
rior numbers could keep their adversaries under constant 
and sleepless apprehension of attack." The third was, 
"to utilize and control streams, swamps, and woods, 
where the bayonet and artillery could not be successfully 
employed by British troops." The fourth principle of 
action was characteristic of Washington s early experi 
ence, and was exemplified throughout the war "never 
to halt, over night, without making artificial protection 
against surprise ; and to surprise the enemy so far as 
practicable, whenever all conditions seem to render such 
surprise impossible." Caesar s habitual intrenchments, 
upon a halt, were types of Washington s methods ; and 
the Crimean War made more impressive than ever the 
value of slight, temporary cover for troops in the field. 
The camp-kettle, the powder and lead, the pick and the 
spade, were Washington s indispensable tools. 

It was therefore with great confidence in the result 
that he intrusted this Southern campaign to the charge of 
Nathaniel Greene ; and for the same reasons he sent him 
his best engineer, and his best corps of rifles and horse. 
General Greene, immediately upon taking command, 
removed all commissary supplies from the coast, to avoid 
liability of their seizure, and to maintain his food-supply. 


He ordered Quartermaster-General Carrington to collect 
all magazines upon the Roanoke, for ready access when 
ever he might need ammunition or commissary supplies. 
He wrote to Baron Steuben, to " hasten forward his 
recruits " ; to the Governors of Virginia and North Caro 
lina, to "nil up their quotas of regulars and call in all 
the militia that they could arm" \ to Shelby, Campbell, 
and other participants in the Battle of King s Mountain, 
fought on the eighth of October, 1780, "to come forward 
and assist in the overthrow of Cornwallis, and defeat his 
second attempt to invade North Carolina." It is certain 
from his letters to Washington, that he expected to realize 
success. The battle of Cowpens immediately followed. 

While awaiting response to his demands for troops, 
both militia and regulars, Greene promptly detached 
Morgan, with Colonels Washington and Howard, to learn 
the movements of Cornwallis and Tarleton, and fritter 
away their strength by worrying tactics. Morgan came 
so near Tarleton as to know that he could have a right, 
if he wanted a fight. This he resolved to have. Few 
military events on record show superior tact, daring, and 
success. He placed his command in the sharp bend of 
Broad River, then swollen by rains, and so deep and 
swift that neither boat, horse nor man could cross it ; 
where, as he afterwards reported, " his men had to fight, 
or drown." All that he asked of his advanced militia was, 
that they would give two volleys and scamper from 
his front, and re-form in his rear. He secreted Washing 
ton s dragoons out of view, for their opportunity. Tarle 
ton dashed madly after the scattering militia, and before 
he could rally his impetuous charge of horse and foot, was 
taken in the rear, utterly routed, and barely saved himself 
after a sabre-cut from Colonel Washington ; leaving on the 
field, or as prisoners, seven hundred and eighty of his 
command, two cannon, fifty-five wagons, one hundred 


horses, and eight hundred muskets. Cornwallis was but 
twenty-five miles distant ; but the exchange of sharp words 
afterwards, between himself and Tarleton, did not lessen 
the value and prestige of this timely American victory. 
Congress and various States united in recognition of 
Morgan s gallant conduct. Broken down by rheuma 
tism, he was compelled to leave active service. From 
Quebec, in 1775, to Cowpens, in 1780, he had been 
" weighed " in many battle-scales, and never " found 

On the twenty-fifth of January, while in camp on Hicks 
Creek, a fork of the Great Republic, Greene received the 
message of Morgan that he " had many prisoners in charge, 
but was pressed by Cornwallis." It was most tantalizing, 
at such an hour, not to be able to improve this victory. 
The Southern army, including Morgan s force, numbered, 
all told, including four hundred militia, only twenty-one 
hundred and three men, of whom the artillerists were but 
forty-seven, and the cavalry only one hundred and twenty. 
Greene Avrote to Suniter, on the fifteenth of January, two 
days before the Battle of Cowpens : " More than half our 
numbers are in a manner naked, so much that we cannot 
put them on the least duty. Indeed, there is a great 
number that have not a rag of clothing on them, except a 
little piece of blanket, in the Indian form, about their 
waists." But Greene put this force in the best possible 
order ; and on the twenty-eighth, accompanied by a single 
guide, one aide-de-camp, and a sergeant s party of twenty 
troopers, he started to join Morgan. On the night of the 
thirtieth, after a ride of one hundred and twenty-five 
miles, he was with him. 

The crisis was immediate. Greene wrote to Varnurn, 
then in Congress ; to Gist, Smallwood, Rutledge, Wash 
ington, and others, appealing for five thousand infantry 
and from six to eight hundred horse. It seemed as if 


this very victory would only precipitate disaster. Wash 
ington thus replied : " I wish I had it in my power to 
congratulate you on the brilliant and important victory 
of General Morgan without the alloy which the distresses 
of the department you command, and apprehensions of 
posterior events, intermix. ... I lament that you 
find it so difficult to avoid a general action ; for our 
misfortunes can only be completed by the dispersion of 
your little army, which will be the most probable con 
sequence of such an event." This letter reflects the wise 
policy of Washington throughout the war ; ever to reserve 
in hand a sufficient force to control the time and place 
for battle ; while incessantly weakening that of his adver 
sary and compelling him, finally, to fight "against odds." 

As the mind reverts to the contentions for high com 
mand which characterized the early years of the war ; and 
as one officer after another disappears from the battle 
record, it would seem as if the officer who sat by the side 
of Morgan on the banks of the Catawba, on the thirtieth 
of January, 1781, must have felt as if a new generation 
had taken the place of the old comrades of 1776, and that 
he was simply waiting to pass away also. 

But the hazard of delay was omnipotent to force 
instant action. Colonel Lee was ordered to hasten and 
join Greene. The report of the landing of British forces 
at Wilmington, just in the rear of the small army he had 
left at Hicks Creek, was a new source of anxious concern. 
The time of service of the Virginia militia was about to 
expire, and according to precedent, they would be prompt 
in their departure. With quick sagacity, Greene placed 
General Stephens in command, anticipating the exact 
term of their expiring enlistment, and sent them home, 
via Hillsborough, in charge of the prisoners of Tarleton s 
command. He thus relieved Morgan of this encumbrance, 
and saved the detail of efficient troops for that escort duty. 


At this period, Cornwall is had abandoned Charleston 
as his base of supply, and was confident of a successful 
invasion of North Carolina. He certainly knew that 
Phillips, Arnold, and Simcoe could spare no troops from 
Virginia ; and through the disaster which befell Tarleton, 
one of the best soldiers of that period, at Cowpens, he 
began to appreciate Clinton s disappointing experiences 
about New York. He unburdened his thoughts to Clin 
ton, in this melancholy vein : " Our hopes of success 
were principally founded upon positive assurances, given 
by apparently credible deputies and emissaries, that, upon 
the approach of a British army in North Carolina, a great 
body of the inhabitants were ready to join it, and cooper 
ate with it in restoring his Majesty s Government. All 
inducements in my power were made use of without 
material effects." 

On the tenth of February, Greene had a force of only 
two thousand and thirty-six men ; of which, but fourteen 
hundred and six were regular troops. A light corps of 
seven hundred men was organized under Colonels Will 
iams, Carrington, Howard, Washington, and Lee, to 
operate in separate detachments so far as practicable, and 
thus keep the army of Cornwallis constantly under expos 
ure to attack, and compelled to make many exhaustive 
marches. Kosciusko planned light earthworks, to cover 
fords as the army crossed and recrossed the same ; and 
Greene was thus employing wise strategic methods for 
future action, when of his own choice he might confront 
Cornwallis in battle. 

Many vicissitudes of thrilling interest attended these 
desultory operations ; and when sudden floods, and as 
sudden abatement of swollen streams, had been success 
fully utilized by the patriotic leaders, just at the right 
moment, it is not strange that the American people, as 


well as "Washington, saw in these deliverances the hand 
of favoring Providence. 

At this juncture, Greene realized also, as well as did 
Cornwallis, that he could not expect any substantial aid 
from Virginia. He could hardly keep his immediate 
force in hand, while w r ear, waste, hunger and sickness 
began to impair their fighting energy as well as physical 
capacity. He determined to seek the first reasonable 
opportunity to join battle with Cornwallis ; and the Battle 
of Guilford Court-House, on the fifteenth of March, real 
ized Washington s full anticipations of such protracted 

The light troops of both armies had skirmished daily. 
Cornwallis issued a proclamation giving a limit within 
which the people must return to their allegiance to the 
Crown. On the sixth of March a skirmish occurred at 
WetzelFs Mills, which brought nearly the entire army of 
Cornwallis into action. On the eighth, Colonel Carring- 
ton and Frederick Cornwallis, acting as commissioners 
for the two opposing armies, agreed upon terms for an 
exchange of prisoners. Cornwallis had been in the habit 
of paroling militia, wherever found, and carrying them 
on his list, as if captured in battle. In the adjustment 
made, Greene obtained a few officers who would have 
been otherwise idle during the campaign ; but the 
arrangement had no other immediate value. 

The position of the two armies is worthy of notice, be 
cause of its relations to succeeding events in Virginia. 
For several weeks Cornwallis had made special endeavor 
to control all upper fords. On the twenty-seventh of 
February he crossed the river Haw and fixed his camp on 
the Allamance, one of its tributaries. Greene adopted 
a line nearly parallel with that of his adversary, and 
advanced to the heights between Reedy Fork and Troub 
lesome Creek, having his divided headquarters near the 


Speedwell Iron Works and Boyd s Mills, on two streams. 
Greene had gained the choice of position, entirely revers 
ing the old relations of the armies. There were no 
British troops in his rear, or on his eastern flank, and 
none to endanger his communications with Virginia. He 
could give battle ; retire as he advanced, or move into 
Virginia, by the same upper fords which Cornwallis had 
once so carefully occupied. At this time, the army of 
Cornwallis was also in great need of clothing, medicines, 
and all other essential supplies. The strain of so many 
unequal marches and skirmishes, through woods, thick 
ets, and swamps, and across innumerable small streams, 
with no recompense in victories won, was very severe. 
He therefore pitched his camp between the Haw and Deep 
rivers, where the roads from Salisbury, Guilford and 
Hillsborough unite, and thus controlled the road to Wil 
mington, his only proximate base of supply. 

Troops had already commenced reporting to General 
Greene, and he decided to offer battle. The command 
consisted of only fourteen hundred and ninety regular 
infantry, one hundred and sixty-one cavalry, and twenty- 
seven hundred and fifty-four militia. The army of Corn- 
Avallis, which on the first of January numbered three 
thousand two hundred and twenty-four men, had fallen 
off, by March 1st, nearly one-third ; and there was reason 
for Greene s hope that, in case his militia held firmly to 
positions assigned them, victory might be realized. He 
felt the enemy with Lee s and Campbell s cavalry ; dis 
posed his troops in admirable form ; and failed at last, 
only through the weakness of his raw troops. For the 
purposes of this narrative, only the result need be stated. 
The American army retired to the iron-works on Trouble 
some Creek, a distance of twelve miles, to rally forces and 
prepare for future action. " It is certain," says Colonel 
Lee, "that if Greene had known the condition of the British 


forces, he need not have retreated, and the American 
victory would have been complete." Tarleton, who was 
wounded in the action, after stating that "the British 
army lost one-third of its number in killed and wounded, 
during the two hours of battle," said that "this victory 
was the pledge of ultimate defeat." 

Greene, writing to Washington, said: "The enemy 
gained his cause, but is ruined by the success of it." Fox, 
in the British House of Commons, said : " Another such 
victory would ruin the British army." Pitt called it "the 
precursor of ruin to British supremacy at the South." 
The casualties of the American army were, nominally, 
including missing, thirteen hundred and eleven ; but so 
many of the missing immediately rallied, that the Virginia 
Brigade, after two days, reported as present for duty, 
seven hundred and fifty-two ; and the Maryland Brigade 
mustered five hundred and fifty, showing a loss in action 
of only one hundred and eighty-eight men, instead of 
two hundred and sixty-one, reported on the seventeenth. 
Of one militia brigade, five hundred and fifty-two were 
missing. The British casualties were five hundred and 
forty-four, and of the general officers, only Cornwallis and 
Leslie escaped without wounds. 

Cornwallis, after providing for the wounded as well as 
possible, and leaving under a flag of truce those who 
could not march, immediately crossed the deep river as 
if moving to Salisbury ; then recrossed it, lower down, 
and entered Wilmington on the seventh of April, with 
only fourteen hundred and forty-five men. He wrote to 
Lord Rawdon, that " Greene would probably invade South 
Carolina " ; but the messenger failed to get through to 
Charleston. Greene was delayed after the battle, to send 
back to his supply-train for ammunition, lead and bullet- 
moulds ; but he followed so closely after, that he reached 
Ramsour s Mills the twenty-eighth, the very day on which 


Cornwallis had bridged the river and pushed on to Wil 

The effect of this withdrawal of Cornwallis was of great 
value to the American cause, and cleared away obstruc 
tions to a broader range of operations for the army of 
the North. Subsequently, on the twenty-fifth of April 
Greene met Rawdon, at Hobkirk Hill, in an action 
sometimes called the Second Battle of Camden, as it was 
fought near that town, in which the American casualties 
were two hundred and seventy-one, and the British cas 
ualties were two hundred and fifty-eight. Greene, after 
the action, withdrew to Rugeley s Mills, and Rawdon to 
Camden. Stedman says : " The victory at Hobkirk Hill, like 
that at Guilford Court-House, produced no consequences 
beneficial to the British army." On the seventeenth of the 
subsequent September, Greene fought with Stewart, Raw- 
don s successor, the Battle of Eutaw Springs, the final 
battle at the South. In this battle the American casualties 
were four hundred and eight, and the British casualties 
were six hundred and ninety-three. In dismissing these 
operations in the Southern Department, a single extract 
from Tarleton s history of the war is of interest : " The 
troops engaged during the greater part of the time were 
totally destitute of bread, and the country afforded no 
vegetable as a substitute. Salt at length failed, and their 
only resources were water and the wild cattle which they 
found in the woods. In the last expedition, fifty men 
perished through mere fatigue. . . . We must not, 
however, confine the praise entirely to the British troops. 
The same justice requires that the Americans should not 
be deprived of their share of this fatal glory. 
On the whole, the campaign terminated in their favor, 
General Greene having recovered the far greater part of 
Georgia, and the two Carolinas." 

This same Nathaniel Greene led the Kentish Guards to 


Boston on the morning after the Battle of Lexington, in 
1775, and his early announcement of the principles upon 
which the war should be conducted to ensure final success, 
had been verified. He had vindicated the confidence of 
Washington in every line of duty, and in his Southern 
campaign cleared the way for the crowning triumph of the 
American Commander-in-Chief, at Yorktown. 



THE diversion of thought from Washington s imme 
diate surroundings will find its compensation in 
the development of his plan for the capture of Benedict 
Arnold. Its execution had been intrusted to General 
Lafayette, who was already assembling his command at 
Peekskill, on the Hudson. 

The superiority of the British fleet before Newport 
having been reduced by the storm of January 22nd, 
Monsieur Destouches, successor to Admiral de Ternay, 
deceased, consented to send one ship-of-the-line and two 
frigates to prevent Arnold s escape by sea. The Count 
de Rochambeau deemed it unnecessary and inexpedient to 
send troops, because the movement was to be so rapid in 
its execution. He assumed that the Continental forces 
in Virginia were adequate for operations under Lafayette. 
Letters from Washington, however, suggesting the detail 
of a considerable land force, did not reach him until after 
M. de Tully had sailed ; or the entire French fleet, with 
a strong military contingent, would have joined the expe 
dition. The three ships under the command of Monsieur 
de Tully sailed on the ninth of February ; captured the 
British frigate Romulus in Linn Haven Bay, two pri 
vateers, and eight other prizes ; but upon arrival at 
Elizabeth River, Virginia, finding that the depth of water 
would not allow the passage up the river of his larger 
ships, he returned to Newport. 



At this point, the beginning of the end of the war 
becomes apparent. Every fortuitous change in the 
details of immediately succeeding movements, and every 
modification of plans previously considered, seem to 
occur as if the American Commander-in-Chief adjusted 
characters and events with the accuracy of a master of 
chess who plays with a clear anticipation of the check 
mate of Clinton and Cornwallis, his two antagonists. 
Each of the royal partners attempted, too late, the 
process of " castle-ing " ; so that New York, first, and then 
Yorktown, became powerless to protect each other, or 
the dependent posts, garrisons, and commanders of each. 
And it is still more dramatic in the result than if Arnold 
had been captured ; for the expedition of the French 
Marquis, which was at first regarded as only a temporary 
absence on his part from the immediate command of 
Washington, proved to be the vanguard of an advance 
which, through his extraordinary tact and skilful hand 
ling, finally inclosed Cornwallis, and made the oppor 
tunity for his capture. 

Lafayette started from Peekskill immediately upon 
the departure of M. de Tully s ships, taking with him 
twelve hundred light infantry, made up of New England 
and New Jersey troops. He reached Pompton, New Jer 
sey, on the twenty-fifth day of February ; Philadelphia, 
on the second day of March, and Head of Elk, on the 
next day. If the reader will imagine Lafayette as 
standing upon the high ground overlooking Chesapeake 
Bay on the evening of March 3, 1781, let him recall 
Maxwell s visit to the same spot accompanied by La 
fayette, on the third day of September, 1777, just before 
the Battle of Brandy wine. On the former occasion, La 
fayette slept in a log cabin where he had been watching 
the British landing. At daybreak, that cabin was within 
the British picket-lines. A suspicion that it was occu- 


pied by an officer of Lafayette s rank was certainly 
beyond the conception of the Hessian Chasseurs who 
bivouacked close by. In a letter written by Lafayette, 
to his young wife, which was ever cherished by the late 
Senators Oscar and Edniond Lafayette, grandsons of the 
Marquis, he humorously contrasts his condition at the two 
dates. "The landing of Cornwallis, at this particular 
point" is noticed ; then, "my first wound, in my first battle 
near Birmingham Meeting House " ; and then, "my present 
independent command, and my hopeful expectation that 
the same British General will not much longer bar the 
way to American Independence." 

From this point, Lafayette sent his advance troops to 
Annapolis ; but he first made a personal trip, in an open 
canoe, to Elizabethtown, to accelerate preparations for 
the capture of the traitor Arnold. He visited Baron 
Steuben at Yorktown, and learned that the Baron would 
undertake to raise five thousand militia for his support. 
He visited Muhlenburg at Suffolk ; and then made a 
personal reconnoissance of Arnold s defences at Ports 
mouth. The return of M. de Tully to Newport compelled 
him to return to Annapolis and there await instructions 
from Washington. Meanwhile, Washington, following 
up his own letters to Rochambeau, visited Newport, 
R.I., and accompanied Rochambeau to the French 
Admiral s ship. Eleven hundred men had already 
embarked, awaiting the repair of a frigate before sailing. 
On the eighth, four frigates and eight battle-ships pro 
ceeded to sea. This was a profound surprise to the 
British fleet, still anchored in Gardiner s Bay, as well as 
to Clinton, then in New York. The French fleet was 
actually under weigh before Admiral Arbuthnot suspected 
its design. He sailed promptly in pursuit, with an equal 
force, and wrote to General Clinton, to "warn Arnold of 
his danger." On the sixteenth, the British and French 


squadrons fought a well-balanced battle, off the Chesa 
peake ; but the presence of the British fleet having 
thwarted the chief object of its errand, Monsieur Des- 
touches returned to Newport on the twenty-sixth, after 
an absence of only eighteen days. The inability of the 
French fleet to control the waters of the Chesapeake modi 
fied all plans. 

Washington wrote to Lafayette on the fifth of April, 
as follows : " While we all lament the miscarriage of an 


enterprise [the capture of Arnold] which bid so fair of 
success, we must console ourselves in the thought of 
having done everything practicable to accomplish it. I 
am certain that the Chevalier Destouches exerted him 
self to the utmost to gain the Chesapeake. The point 
upon which the whole turned, the action with Admiral 
Arbuthnot, reflects honor upon the Chevalier, and upon 
the marine of France. As matters have turned out, it 
is to be wished that you had not gone out of the Elk ; 
but, I never judge of the proprieties of measures by after 
results." This letter, so timely and wise, as well as so 
characteristic of its author, also instructed Lafayette to 
return to Philadelphia ; but on the sixth, he was ordered 
to report to General Greene. 

This order had hardly been issued when Washington 
learned that Clinton, acting upon Admiral Arbuthnot s 
suggestion, had forwarded additional troops to the sup 
port of Arnold, under command of General Phillips. He 
at once countermanded Lafayette s orders to report to 
General Greene, and assigned him to command in Vir 
ginia, reporting, however, both to General Greene and 
himself. Greene received a copy of this order March 
18th, three days after the Battle of Guilford Court-House, 
and he dates his reply as "follows : " Ten miles from 
Guilford Court-House. I am happy to hear the Marquis 
is coming to Virginia, though I am afraid from a hint in 


one of Baron Steuben s letters that he will think himself 
injured in being superseded in command. Could the 
Marquis be with us at this moment, we should have a 
most glorious campaign. It would put Cornwallis and 
his whole army into our hands." 

Greene, at this time, knowing the condition of the 
army of Cornwallis at Wilmington, believed that by the 
advance of Lafayette from Virginia, and his own coop 
eration, just as he started in pursuit of Cornwallis, the 
capture of that officer s entire command would be assured. 
But in other ways than had been anticipated, the assign 
ment of Lafayette to command in Virginia did enforce 
the ultimate surrender of the British army of Virginia. 
Baron Steuben, with perfect confidence in the wisdom of 
Washington, gracefully accepted the order as final, and 
rendered to Lafayette prompt obedience and thoroughly 
hearty support. 

The troops that accompanied Lafayette, however, did 
not like their transfer to a warmer climate. Desertions 
were frequent, and a mutinous spirit was exhibited. La 
fayette hung the first deserter who was captured. A 
second was arrested and brought before him for disposal. 
He sent him adrift, with " permission to return to his home, 
or wherever he desired to go." He then issued an order, 
reciting, that " lie was netting out upon a dangerous and 
difficult expedition; and lie hoped the soldiers would not 
abandon him; but that whoever wished to go away, might 
do so instantly." " From that hour," wrote Lafayette, 
"all desertions ceased, and not a man would leave." 

Washington himself, at this juncture of affairs, was 
peculiarly embarrassed. Congress had assured him that 
the new regular force of thirty-seven thousand men would 
be in the field by the first of January. Marshall, the 
historian, makes the following statement : " The regular 
force drawn from Pennsylvania, to Georgia inclusive, at 


no time during this interesting campaign amounted to 
three thousand effective men." Of the Northern troops, 
twelve hundred had been detached under the Marquis de 
Lafayette, in the aid of Virginia. Including these in 
the estimate, the States, from New Jersey to New Hamp 
shire, had furnished only five thousand effectives. The 
cavalry and artillery at no time exceeded one thousand. 
During May, the total force reached seven thousand, of 
whom rather more than four thousand might have been 
relied on for action ; but even these had been brought 
into camp too late to acquire that discipline which is so 
essential to military service. 

As early as February twentieth, when the Virginia cam 
paign was in prospect, General Washington begged Schuy- 
ler to accept the head of the War Deparment, in these 
earnest words : " Our affairs are brought to an awful crisis. 
Nothing will recover them but the vigorous exertion of 
men of abilities who know our wants and the best means 
of supplying them. These qualifications, Sir, without a 
compliment, I think you possess. Why, then, the depart 
ment being necessary, should you shrink from it? The 
greater the chaos, the greater will be your merit in bring 
ing forth order." General Schuyler replied on the twenty- 
fifth, and declared his intention never to hold office under 
Congress, unless accompanied by a restoration to mili 
tary rank ; and added that " such inconvenience would 
result to themselves [members of Congress] from such a 
restoration, as would necessarily give umbrage to many 

Washington s diary at this period affords a fair show 
of existing conditions, and reveals his anxiety better than 
another can depict it. On the first of May, his record is 
this : " Instead of having magazines filled with provisions, 
we have a scant pittance, scattered here and there, in 
different States. Instead of having our arsenals filled 


with military stores, they are poorly provided, and the 
workmen are leaving them. . . . Instead of hav 
ing the regiments completed under the new establishment, 
scarce any State has an eighth part of its quota in the 
field, and there is little prospect of getting more than 
half. In a word, instead of having everything in readiness 
to take the field, we have nothing. . . . And instead 
of having the prospect of a glorious, offensive campaign 
before us, we have a gloomy and bewildered prospect of 
a defensive one, unless we should receive a powerful aid 
of ships, land troops, and money, from our generous 
allies, and these arc at present too contingent to build 
upon. . . . Chimney-corner patriots abound ; venality, 
corruption, prostitution of office for selfish ends, abuse 
of trust, perversion of funds from a national to a private 
use, and speculations upon the necessities of the times, 
pervade all interests. ... In fact, every battle and 
every campaign is affected by these elements, and the 
diffusion of political responsibility still makes the United 
States only a loose partnership of scattered and loosely 
related partners." 

At this date, May first, the British troops in Virginia 
consisted of Arnold s command of fifteen hundred and 
fifty-three men, and that of Phillips, of twenty-one hun 
dred and sixty-three men. On the twentieth of May, 
including the forces of Cornwallis, the entire British 
force in Virginia did not exceed five thousand effective 
troops. Arnold, Phillips, and Simcoe made numerous 
excursions, destroying property, burning buildings, and 
leaving marks of desolation upon Williamsburg, Peters 
burg, Osborne, Hanover Court-House, Chesterfield Court- 
House, and elsewhere. 

Lafayette s command was almost ubiquitous, harass 
ing the enemy at every point, so that they could hardly 
make an expedition without being compelled to abandon 


portions of the property plundered, and return to their 
fortified positions with the loss of some men and horses, 
every time. So soon as Lafayette learned that Cornwallis 
proposed to move northward from Wilmington to Virginia, 
and unite his command with those of Phillips and Arnold, 
he made an effort to reach Halifax Court-House, and cut 
him off; but the shorter route enabled Phillips to defeat 
Lafayette s movement. 

On the eighth of May, he wrote to Washington : " There 
is no fighting here, unless you have naval superiority ; 
or, an army mounted on race-horses. Phillips" plan 
against Richmond has been defeated. He was going to 
Portsmouth. Now, it appears that I have business with 
two armies, and this is rather too much. Each is more 
than double, superior to me. We have no boats, few 
militia, and no arms. I will try and do for the best. 
Xothing can attract my sight from the supplies and reen- 
forcements destined to General Greene s army. I have 
forbidden every department to give me anything that may 
be thought useful to General Greene. When General 
Greene becomes equal to offensive operations, this quarter 
will be relieved. I have written to General Wayne [who 
had been ordered to report to Lafayette, with the Penn 
sylvania line, ordered south by Congress, on account 
of their mutiny] to hasten his march ; but unless I am 
hard pressed, I shall request him to go southward." 
Washington thus replied to this letter : " Your determi 
nation to avoid an engagement, with your present force, 
is certainly judicious. General Wayne has been pressed 
both by Congress and the Board of War, to make as 
much expedition as possible." 

On the eighteenth of May, pursuant to orders of Gen 
eral Greene, assigning him to sole command in Virginia, 
and instructing him to report only to Washington, Lafay 
ette established his headquarters between the Pamunkey 


and Chickahorniny rivers, equally covering Richmond and 
other important points in the State ; and sent General 
Nelson with militia towards Petersburg. On the twenty- 
sixth of May, Cornwallis received reinforcements under 
General Leslie, and notified General Clinton of his 
own intention to "dislodge Lafayette from Richmond. 
General Clinton s letter of the twentieth had contained 
the following postscript : " Pray send Brigadier-General 
Arnold h ere, by the first opportunity, if you should not 
have particular occasion for his services." Cornwallis 
replied : " I. have consented to the request of General 
Arnold to go to Xew York ; he conceived that your Ex 
cellency wished him to attend you, and his present indis 
position renders him unequal to the fatigue of service." 

In view of the great effort on the part of Washing 
ton to arrest Arnold, it is well to consider some inci 
dents that disclose Arnold s true position in the British 
army. In none of his expeditions in Virginia did he face 
Continental troops. He attempted to open a corre 
spondence with Lafayette, and threatened to send any 
prisoners he might capture, to the West Indies ; but La 
fayette never acknowledged a communication, simplv 
forwarding them to Washington. Among papers of 
General Phillips which came to light upon his decease, 
was a letter from Clinton showing that Phillips assign 
ment to duty, on the eleventh of April, was "for the 
security of Arnold and the troops under his command, 
and for no other purpose." The reader, familiar with the 
Burgoyne campaign, will remember the brilliant and 
explosive burst of Arnold into the British lines, near 
Bemis Heights. General Phillips, then serving under 
Burgoyne, was one of the severest sufferers by that 
assault ; and the relations of the two officers, in Virginia, 
were of the most constrained character. Upon the death 
of Phillips an attempt was made on the part of Arnold to 


conceal the knowledge of that fact ; and some direct cor 
respondence of Arnold with London officials had dis 
turbed Clinton, so that he desired to have him under his 
immediate control. The departure of Arnold from Vir 
ginia resolved the Virginia campaign into a series of 
spirited marches, counter-marches, skirmishes and sharp 
encounters, which ultimately drove Cornwallis behind the 
intrenchments at Yorktown ; and there he was securely 
inclosed, until all things could be prepared for the pres 
ence of the American Commander-in-Chief. 

On the thirty-first of May, Washington wrote to La 
fayette, and thus closed his letter: "Your conduct upon 
every occasion meets my approbation, but in none more 
than in your refusing to hold a correspondence with 




ON the twenty-first day of May, 1781, which proved 
to have been that of the arrival of Cornwallis at 
Yorktown, Washington held a conference with Count de 
Rochambeau and General Chastellux at Wethersfield, 
Conn., as to the details of the approaching summer 
campaign. As one result of this interview, Count de 
Rochambeau requested Count de Grasse, then in the 
West Indies, to cooperate for a while with Count de 
Barras, and close the port of New York. The French 
fleet could not be very well spared from the West India 
Station, for the reason that while cooperating with the 
Americans, and on a foreign coast, it had neither accessi 
ble docks nor other means of refitting and supply, in case 
of disaster. Pending the disposition of this matter, the 
immediate junction of the two armies was definitely 

The American army, with an effective force of a little 
less than forty-six hundred men, was ordered to Peekskill- 
on-the-Hudson. The Count de Rochambeau, with the 
Duke de Lauzun, marched from Newport and took post at 
Ridgebury, Conn., near Salem, on the road to Danbury, 
fifteen miles back from Long Island Sound. 

Two British posts, just out of New York, one at 
Morrisania, where Delancey s Rangers had a station, and 
from which constant incursions were made into Winches- 



ter county ; and the other at the north end of Manhattan 
Island, not far from Fort Washington, were designated 
as the first objects of assault. Clinton had sent a con 
siderable foraging force into New Jersey, and it was sup 
posed likely that he might regard the posts named as 
not in danger of attack, or leave them lightly garri 
soned. Sheldon s Dragoons and a division under the 
Duke de Lauzun were to attempt the first of the expedi 
tions, and General Lincoln was intrusted with the other. 
Washington advised Governor Clinton of his plan, so 
that he might concentrate the New York militia at the 
proper moment ; and signal guns,~as well as beacon-fires, 
had been arranged to <nve notice of success. 

O O 

General Lincoln left Peekskill with eight hundred men, 
on the morning of the first of June, proceeded to Teller s 
Point ; there took boats, and with muffled oars rowed 
down Tappan Bay by night, hugging the eastern shore. 
On the morning of the second, he reached Dobb s Ferry, 
without being discovered by the enemy. At three 
o clock, on the morning of the second, Washington 
started, without baggage, and leaving all tents standing : 
passed through Tarrytown, reaching Valentine s Hill, four 
miles above King s Bridge, by sunrise of the third, where he 
gained a good position for the support of either expedition. 

When General Lincoln crossed the Hudson, at Fort 
Lee, he at once noticed that the British expedition into 
New Jersey had returned and reoccupied the post near 
Fort Washington ; and that a British man-of-war had 
anchored in the stream, near the shore just below that 
fort. A surprise of Fort Washington became impossible. 
He had, however, before leaving Peekskill, been supplied 
with alternate instructions, anticipating this very emer 
gency. It had been Washington s real purpose, now that 
the French army was immediately within his control, to 
draw Clinton, if possible, into a general engagement ; 


and the entire French force awaited his signal for the 
movement. So soon as Lincoln discovered the British 
camp, he recrossed the Hudson and landed his troops just 
above Spuyten Duyvil Creek, near old Fort Independence ; 
and then moved to high ground near King s Bridge, so 
as to act in concert with the Duke de Lauzun and cut off 
any detachment which might attempt to cross the Harlem 
to support Delancey. Meanwhile the Duke de Lauzun 
had only reached East Chester, after a hot march over- 
very rough country, and was several hours later than the 
hour designated for the assault. The troops of Lincoln 
were discovered by a large foraging force of fourteen hun 
dred men which was sweeping over the country from right 
to left, in search of cattle and other supplies, and a sharp 
skirmish ensued. The Duke de Lauzun, hearing the fir 
ing, pressed forward with forced step to join in the action. 
Washington also moved rapidly to the front, and at his 
appearance the British fell back rapidly to New York. 
During the afternoon, after carefully reconnoitering the 
position, Washington also retired to Valentine s Hill, and 
then to Dobb s Ferry, as if entirely withdrawing his troops ; 
but, on the sixth, he was joined by Rochanibeau, and on 
the seventh, the American camp was fully established. 
Its right rested on the Hudson, covered by earthworks, 
and its left crossed Saw Mill River. (See Map, " Hudson 
River Highlands.") The French army occupied the hills 
still farther eastward, as far as the river Bronx. 

Washington at once made an effort to force General 
Clinton to fight for the possession of New York. Pickets 
were ostentatiously posted. Letters, designed to fall 
into Clinton s hands, were written, and as early as the 
sixth, Clinton captured some of these " confidential " 
papers and enclosed them to Lord Cornwallis, saying : "I 
am threatened with a siege. Send me two thousand 
troops ; the sooner they come, the better." 


The agitation in New York is described by contempo 
rary writers as " most intense and universal." It was kept 
under all possible control ; but the coast-guards were 
doubled, so that no stray boats might pass unchallenged, 
by night or day, and mounted couriers constantly passed 
and repassed, to furnish the speediest possible information 
at British headquarters of any hostile advance. The 
report published in slips, that ^ brick ovens were to be 
erected in New Jersey, opposite } Staten Island, to supply 
bread rations, daily, for thirty thousand men," was 
encouraged by Washington, and was accepted as true by 
the country near by, and generally at the north, New 
Jersey included. 

; When the carnps were fully established, and guns 
were disposed for their best effect, Washington, accom 
panied by Count de Rochambeau and Generals de Boville 
and Du Portail, crossed to Jersey Heights, and with a 
small escort of one hundred and fifty Jersey troops, 
examined all the New York outposts, as far down as the 
ocean. Neither was this a mere sham hollow in sub 
stance. The projected attack upon New York was a 
deliberate alternative ; to compel Clinton to withhold ree n- 
forcements from the Southern army so that Cornwallis 
could be overpowered and captured ; or, if he ventured 
to aid that officer^,; )he , must lose New York. 

This reconnoissance in New Jersey was known to Sir 
Henry Clinton, and he might have been very thankful to 
General Washington for information that some of " his 
[Clinton s] stores were inadequately guarded " ; that " at 
some posts the small garrisons were doing no watchful 
guard duty > ; and that there was " no serious difficulty 
whatever in seizing or destroying all the stores on Staten 
Island, without material loss or risk." 
i , A second reconnoissance of the entire British front, 
from King s Bridge down the Hudson, and along Hell 


Gate channel, occurred on the evening of July 21st. This 
.was no feeble "feeling of the enemy." Five thousand 
choice troops took part in the investigation of the British 
position. General Chastellux commanded one division, 
and General Lincoln commanded the second. As early 
as the eighth of the month, Sir Henry Clinton wrote to 
Lord Cornwallis, as follows : " As your lordship is now 
so near, it will be unnecessary for you to send your de 
spatches to the minister ; you will therefore be so good as 
to send them to me in the future." 

It is a fact that Cornwallis was encouraged by the 
British War ^ffice and the Ministry to write directly 
to those departments. He stood high in esteem ; and, 
as will appear under his name in the Index, was subse 
quently honored, although captured at Yorktown. The 
letter of the eighth, thus referred to, was followed by 
letters on the eleventh, thirteenth, and nineteenth of 
June, with similar appeals for reinforcements ; and these 
appeals were forwarded by special couriers or fast frigates. 
Then came the allied parade of the twenty-second. The 
troops reached King s Bridge at daybreak. Lauzun s 
lancers in their brilliant uniform, and Sheldon s Light 
Corps, scoured the vicinity of Morrisania, and the dra 
goons went as far as Throgg s Neck. The royalist 
refugees fled to islands, vessels, and the woods. This 
demonstration lasted during the twenty-second and 
twenty-third of June. Then Washington and Rocharn- 
beau, escorted by French dragoons, examined all advance 
posts, passing directly within range of fire from both 
vessels and picket posts. There was no pretence of 
secrecy in this inquisitive inquiry as to the British strength 
and British positions. It was a bold, deliberate challenge 
of the garrison to retire if they so desired, or to fight if 
they preferred battle. On the twenty -third, the troops 
resumed their places in the quiet camp. 


On the twenty-sixth, Clinton called upon Cornwallis 
for "three more regiments," to be sent from Carolina, 
writing : " I shall probably want them, as well as the 
troops you may be able to send me from the Chesapeake, 
for such offensive and defensive operations as may offer 
in this quarter." Cornwallis had previously offered to 
send two of the Hessian regiments, then in South Caro 
lina, "as they could be spared in the hot summer 
months," and Clinton begged him to " renew that offer." 

A brief glance at the Southern Department is necessary 
in order fully to measure the designs of the American 
Commander-in-Chicf, which, on the surface, seemed to be 
local in their purpose. The army of Cornwallis, with re- 
enforcements, numbered about seven thousand effective 
troops when he entered upon his active campaign against 
Lafayette. It will be remembered that Cornwallis had 
promised Clinton to drive Lafayette from Richmond. 
When Lafayette saw that by attempting to hold Rich 
mond he would risk a general action, with the possible 
loss of Virginia and consequent ruin to Greene s army at 
the South, he permitted that city to abide the fate of war, 
and marched northward to the upper Rappahannock ; to 
effect an union with the forces of Wayne, approaching 
from the north. He decided to avoid further contest 
with Cornwallis, unless on terms of his own dictation. 

The Assembly of Virginia, quickened to new energy, 
retired to Charlottesville May 24th. But they authorized 
the " issue of fifteen millions of bills," and also the decla 
ration of martial law within twenty miles of any army 
headquarters. That brought Richmond within the mili 
tary control of Lafayette. The Burgoyne prisoners 
were t also removed from Charlottesville, over the moun 
tains, to Winchester. The details of the pursuit of La 
fayette by Cornwallis, day by day, are full of thrilling 
interest, but beyond the province of this narrative. 

<f \ 

ioiTY I 


On the twenty-eighth of May, Lafayette wrote as 
follows to Washington : " The enemy have been so kind 
as to retire before us. Twice, I gave them a chance of 
fighting, taking good care not to engage them farther than 
I pleased, but they continued their retrograde motions. 
Our numbers are, I think, exaggerated to them, and our 
seeming boldness confirms the opinion. T thought, at 
first, Lord Cornwallis wanted to get me as low down as 
possible, and use his cavalry to advantage. His lordship 
had, exclusive of the reinforcements from Portsmouth, 
(said to be six hundred) four thousand men ; eight hundred 
of whom were dragoons, or mounted infantry. Our force 
is about his ; but only one thousand five hundred regulars, 
and fifty dragoons. One little action more particularly 
marks the retreat of the enemy. From the place where 
he first began to retire to Williamsburg, is upwards of one 
hundred miles. The old arms at the Point of the Fork 
have been taken out of the water. The cannon was thrown 
into the river undamaged, when they marched back to Rich 
mond ; so that his lordship did us no harm of consequence, 
but lost an immense part of his former conquests, and did 
not make any in the State. General Greene only de 
manded of me to hold niy ground, in Virginia. I don t 
know but what we shall, in our turn, become the pursu 
ing enemy." 

On the very next day, after this letter was despatched 
to the American Commander-in-Chief, May twenty-ninth, 
Cornwallis did, in fact, abandon pursuit. Tarleton, who 
rever lost opportunity to express his appreciation of the 
tact, skill, and " invariable wisdom of Lafayette s move 
ments," states, that "an American patrol was captured; 
and among letters of Lafayette to Greene, Steuben, and 
others, was one to Governor Jefferson, urging him to 
rally militia during his absence, and using this prophetic 
expression : r The British success in Virginia resembles 


the French invasion of Hanover, and is likely to have 
similar consequences, if the governor and the country 
would exert themselves, at the present juncture. " 

When Cornwallis halted and moved back towards his 
base, Tarleton was detached with two hundred and 
fifty troopers, mounted on the picked stock of the best 
private stables, taken at will, and attempted to capture 
Governor Jefferson at Monticello. His report says: "I 
imagined that a march of seventy miles in twenty-four 
hours, with the caution used, might perhaps give the 
advantage of a surprise." Tarleton charged through the 
Riviana River, captured seven members of the Legislat 
ure and Brigadier-General Scott, and destroyed one 
thousand arms and four hundred barrels of powder ; but 
the Governor escaped, and the Assembly immediately 
convened at Staunton, beyond Tarleton s reach. Then 
he started down the Riviana to join Simcoe in an attack 
upon Steuben s depot of supplies at Elk Island. But 
Wayne joined Lafayette, and Lafayette proceeded south 
ward. They soon started in pursuit of the retiring 
column of Cornwallis. The pursued had indeed be 
come the pursuers. Tarleton thus writes : "The Marquis 
Lafayette, who had previously practised defensive meas 
ures with skill and security, being now reenforced by 
Wayne and about eight hundred continentals and some 
militia, followed the British as they proceeded down 
James River. This design, being judiciously arranged 
and executed with extreme caution, allowed opportunity 
for the junction of Baron Steuben ; confined the small 
detachments of the King s troops ; and both saved the 
property and animated the drooping spirits of the Vir 
ginians." On the thirteenth, Tarleton reported his own 
movements and the waste he had accomplished. 

The scouts of Lafayette intercepted the letter, and he 
published it to the people before Cornwallis himself had 


knowledge of its contents. Cornwallis returned to his 
headquarters, to find despatches fifteen days old awaiting 
his attention. One contained this extraordinary informa 
tion : " The Continentals under Lafayette cannot exceed 
one thousand ; and the Pennsylvania Line, under Wayne, 
are so discontented, that their officers are afraid to trust 
them with ammunition. Postscript. - - This may have, 
however, since altered. 

On the very day of the receipt of this despatch, Tarleton 
and Simcoe were actually compelled to cover the picket 
lines of Cornwallis with their full force, to prevent La 
fayette s Continentals and the Pennsylvania Line from 
capturing the supply trains of his command. Cornwallis 
started for Portsmouth on the fourth. A sharp action at 
Williamsburg, in which Wayne made a brilliant bayonet 
charge, and in which Lafayette, having lost a horse, 
gallantly fought the battle on foot, resulted in a loss of 
one hundred and eighteen Americans and seventy-five 
British troops. From Portsmouth, Cornwallis took 
boats for Yorktown, on the first of August ; and on the 
sixth, Tarleton says : " I threw my horses into deep 
water, near shore, and landed without loss," joining 
Cornwallis on the tenth. Gloucester, opposite York- 
town, was occupied and fortified. Constant skirmishes 
occurred between Tarleton and Sirncoe, of its garrison, 
and the detachments which Lafayette kept active in the 

On the eighth, Lafayette wrote to Washington as fol 
lows : " We shall act agreeably to circumstances ; but 
avoid drawing ourselves into a false movement, which, 
if cavalry had command of the river, would give the 
enemy the advantage of us. His lordship plays so well, 
that no blunder can be hoped from him, to recover a bad 
step of ours. Should a fleet come in at this moment, 
our affairs would take a very happy turn." On the 


thirteenth, Lafayette established his headquarters in 
the forks of the Pamunkey and the Mattaponey. On 
the twenty-third, he wrote, in part : " In the present 
state of affairs, my dear general, I hope you will come 
yourself to Virginia. Lord Cornwallis must be attacked 
with pretty good apparatus ; but when a French fleet 
takes possession of the Bay, and we form a land force 
superior to his, that army must sooner or later be forced 
to surrender, as we may then get what reinforcements we 
please. I heartily thank you for having ordered me to 
Virginia. It is to your goodness that I am indebted for 
the most beautiful prospect which I may ever be able to 

On the thirtieth, Count de Grasse arrived in the Ches 
apeake with twenty-six sail-of-the-line, besides frigates 
and transports. On the third of September, Count de St. 
Simon landed with three thousand two hundred French 
troops, and was joined by Lafayette at Green Spring- 
on the same day. On the fifth, the allies occupied Will- 
iamsburg, about fifteen miles from Yorktown. The 
Count de Grasse had a limited period for operations on 
the American coast, and united with the Count de St. 
Simon to urge an immediate attack upon Yorktown, 
before its defences could be completed, waiving seniority 
of rank, and agreeing to serve under Lafayette. 

Lafayette thus wrote to Washington : " I am not so 
hasty as the Count de Grasse, and think that having so 
sure a game to play, it would be madness, by the risk of 
an attack, to give anything to chance. Unless matters 
are very different from what I think they are, niy opinion 
is, that we ought to be contented with preventing the 
enemy s forages, with militia ; without committing our 
regulars. Whatever readiness the Marquis de St. Simon 
has been pleased to express to Colonel Girnat respecting 
his being under me, I shall do nothing without paying 


that deference which is due to age, talents, and experi 
ence ; but would rather incline to the cautious line of 
conduct I have of late adopted. I hope you will find we 
have taken the best precautions to prevent his lordship s 
escape. I hardly believe he will make the attempt. If 
he does, he must give up ships, artillery, baggage, part 
of the horses, all the negroes ; must be certain to lose one- 
third of his army, and run the greatest risk of losing the 
whole, without gaining that glory which he may derive 
from a brilliant defence." On the eighth, Lafayette 
wrote : " If you knew how slowly things go on in this 
country ! The governor does what he can ; the wheels of 
government are so rusty, that no governor whatever will 
be able to set them free again. Time will prove that 
Governor Jefferson has been too severely charged. 
We will try, if not dangerous, on so large a scale, to form 
a good idea of the works ; but unless I am greatly 
deceived, there will be madness in attacking them now, 
with our force. Marquis de St. Simon, Count de Grasse 
and General Du Portail agree with me in opinion ; but 
should Lord Cornwallis come out against such a position 
as we have, everybody thinks he cannot but repent of it ; 
and should he beat us, he must soon prepare for another 

The time had arrived for the presence of the American 




~T~r~rASHINGTON was in his tent, where only the 
W quiet of a few hours at a time interposed their 
opportunity for other than field duty. At one of those 
intervals he was compelled to make assignments of the 
American army for associated operations with his French 
allies. He had just been advised that three thousand 
Hessian auxiliaries had reenforced the British garrison 
of New York. Appeals to the various State authorities 
had failed to realize appreciable additions to his fighting 

It was an hour of opportunity for America. Fail 
ure to meet French support with a fair correspondence 
in military force, would compromise his country before 
the world. Amid such reflections, which were the basis 
of a fresh public appeal, he was rallied to action by the 
entrance of a special messenger from Newport, Rhode 
Island. The frigate Concorde had arrived from the West 


Indies, and the following despatch was placed in hi,s 
hands : " Count de Grasse will leave San Domingo on the 
third of August, direct for Chesapeake Bay." 

With imperturbable calmness, Washington folded the 
despatch, and then consulted with the Count de Ro- 
chambeau alone, as to the best disposition to be made 
of the squadron of Admiral de Barras, still at New 
port. That officer, although the senior of the Count de 



Grasse, promptly expressed hi& readiness to waive pre 
cedence and serve as best advised by the American Com- 
niander-in-Chief. He had indeed but seven ships-of-the- 
line disposable and ready for sea ; but this force was 
deemed a sufficient convoy for the transports which were 
to carry heavy artillery and ammunition, for siege pur 
poses before Yorktown. This courtesy of the French 
admiral had its important sequel, in changing what would 
have been a superior British naval force in those waters 
to a determining superiority on the part of France, at the 
most critical moment of that final campaign in behalf of 
American Independence. Every officer of Washington s 
staff received instant instructions. They were only ad 
vised, very reservedly, that supplies of heavy artillery 
would be forwarded to General Lafayette, for his use ; 
but it began to be realized that with French troops suffi 
cient to complete the environment of Yorktown, and a 
French fleet competent to destroy the coast defences, the 
capitulation of Cornwallis could be enforced. 

Letters were immediately sent by trusty messengers 
to every Northern governor, to hasten forward their Con 
tinental quotas yet in arrears, and to rally their militia in 
force, for the "capture of New York." Confidential agents 
were also despatched to General Lafayette and the Count 
de Grasse, with the joint instructions of Washington 
and Rochambeau, sufficiently embodying an intimation of 
plans held in reserve ; but explicitly warning them not to 
permit Cornwallis to escape, nor to receive reinforcements 
by sea from New York. Other letters were written to 
the authorities of New Jersey and Philadelphia, quite 
minutely denning a plan for the seizure of Staten Island, 
under cover of a French naval force ; while the principal 
allied armies were expected to force the upper defences 
of New York by irresistible assault. Some of these de 
spatches, carefully duplicated, with enclosed plans, as once 


before, were put into the hands of other messengers, 
designedly for interception by Clinton. Heavy batteaux 
on wheels, hauled by oxen, made ostentatious movement, 
together with wagon-loads of supplies, to the seashore 
opposite Staten Island. General Heath was placed in 
command of a large camp near Springfield, New Jersey, 
for assembling and drilling a lar^e force of militia. 

O O O 

Other small camps of Pennsylvania and New Jersey 
militia, easily distinguishable by the spies of General 
Clinton, dotted the country. The militia of Connecticut 
and New York also hastened to participate in the long- 
hoped-for emancipation of New York from British con 

As late as the nineteenth, in order to give General 
Clinton fair notice that he might expect no unnecessary 
or protracted delay in the attack already ripe for execu 
tion, all roads leading to King s Bridge were cleared of 
obstructions. Fallen trees and scattered branches were 
removed so as to expedite a swift assault upon the Brit 
ish advanced outposts. All these were heaped up and 
burned at night, as a reminder of the impending crisis. 
Everything worked admirably as planned, and still, as on 
the fourth of March, 177G, before Boston, the American 
Commander-in-Chief kept to himself his secret purpose. 

Afterwards, he thus explained his action : " That much 
trouble was taken, and finesse used, to misguide and be 
wilder Sir Henry Clinton, in regard to the real object, by 
fictitious communications as well as by making a decep 
tive provision of ovens, forage, and boats, in his neigh 
borhood, is certain. JSTor, was less pains taken to deceive 
our own army ; for, I had always conceived, when the im 
position does not completely take place at home, it would 
never sufficiently succeed abroad." 

During the nineteenth, while the obstructions were 
being thus removed from the roads leading into New 


York, Colonel Hazen crossed the Hudson ut Dobb s 
Ferry and demonstrated for an advance upon Staten 
Island, from the Jersey shore, immediately opposite. 
On the twenty-first, a detachment selected by Washington 
himself crossed the Hudson at King s Ferry, near Haver- 
straw. The French army followed, and the armies were 
united on the twenty-fifth. During this brief delay, 
Rochambeau accompanied Washington to a final inspec 
tion of West Point ; and the headquarters of the Amer 
ican army at New Windsor, between that post and; 
Newburg, were formally abandoned. 

The combined armies of America and France no longer 
threatened New York ; but they had not been missed by 
Clinton. The American forces moved rapidly toward 
Springfield, on the Rahway, as if to strike Staten Island. 
The great baggage-train and the same batteaux demon 
strated toward Staten Island. But the French army 
marched for Whippany, in the direction of Trenton. 
Washington and his suite reached Philadelphia about 
noon, August thirtieth. Still they had not been, missed 
by Clinton. 

But now, for the first time, the American army real 
ized that it was destined southward, and that a trium 
phant entry into New York City was not to be the crown 
ing reward for service so faithfully done. Dissatisfaction 
was openly and bluntly expressed. Even officers, long 
in arrears of pay, equally with the rank and file, bitterly 
complained. Rochambeau, quickly alive to the situation, 
promptly advanced twenty thousand dollars in gold for 
the men, upon the simple pledge of Robert Morris, of 
Philadelphia, that it should be refunded by the first of 

Suddenly, Colonel Laurens, just from France, having 
landed at Boston on the twenty-fifth, only five days be 
fore, appeared at Washington s quarters with report of 


the result of his mission to the French king. His ship 
brought clothing, ammunition, and half a million of 
dollars, as the first instalment of six million of livres 
($1,111,111) generously furnished by Louis XVI., with 
the pledge of additional sums to follow. This welcome 
visitor further announced to the calmly attentive Ameri 
can Commander-in-Chief this message : rr Dr. Franklin 
advised me that he had secured a loan of four million 
of livres ($740,740) to cover American drafts made 
before I could arrive in America ; and Count de Ver- 
gennes agreed to guarantee a loan in Holland, for ten 
million livres ($1,851,851)." 

If the heavens had opened and reverberating thunder 
had distinctly articulated : " American Independence is 
achieved ! " the assurance of a Divine interposition would 
hardly have appeared more emphatic to the waiting faith 
of Washington, or have more thrillingly encouraged the 
weary but obedient soldiers of his command. 

And still this American army, thus refreshed in spirit 
and joyous in the hope of speedy and final victory, had 
not been missed from JVeiv York by General, Sir Henry 
Clinton. Another fast-sailing frigate was speeding 
through the Narrows, past Sandy Hook, southward, once 
more to appeal to Lord Cornwallis to come to the rescue 
of imperiled, beleaguered New York. 

On the second day of September, the American army 
made its third formal entry into Philadelphia, amid glad 
acclaims of welcome, and sharing with the people in the 
spirit of one great jubilee. At that very hour, another 
courier vessel, in chase of the former, left New York with 
a message for Cornwallis, which failed to reach him until 
the fifteenth. It was in cipher, and read as follows : 

NEW YORK, Sept. 2, 1781. 

Mr. Washington is moving an army to the southward, with an 
appearance of haste ; and gives out that he expects the cooperation 


of a considerable French armament. Your Lordship, however, may 
be assured that if this should be the case, I shall endeavor to ree n- 
force your command by all means within the compass of my power; 
or, make every possible diversion in your favor. 

P.S. Washington, it is said, was at Trenton, this day, and 
means to go in vessels to Christiana Creek, and from thence by Head 
of Elk, down Chesapeake Bay also. . . . Washington has about 
four thousand French, and two thousand Continentals, with him. 

On the following day, the French army, having taken a 
day for cleaning arms, uniforms, and accoutrements, made 
a dress parade through the American capital. Every gor 
geous trapping of their brilliant, sentimental outfit was 
proudly displayed before the wondering and delighted 
populace. Contemporary writers could not sufficiently 
describe the " magnificence of the parade, and the convul 
sions of joy that animated the entire population." And 
yet, one eminent French officer, in describing the march 
of the American army on the previous day, said : " The 
plainly dressed American army lost no credit in the 
steadiness of their march and their fitness for battle." 

On the same day, Washington received despatches from 
Lafayette. One, dated August 21st, reported that "the 
British troops were fortifying Gloucester, across the river 
from Yorktown." Others were as follows : " A small 
garrison remains at Portsmouth"; "I have written to 
the Governor, to collect six hundred militia upon Black- 
water"; "I have written to General Gregory, near 
Portsmouth, that I am advised that the enemy intend to 
push a detachment into Carolina ; to General Wayne, to 
move to the southward and to have a column ready 
to cross the James at Westover ; and that my own army 
will soon assemble again upon the waters of the Chick- 
ahominy." Reference has already been made to Wash 
ington s receipt of Lafayette s letter of August 8th, an 
nouncing the occupation of Yorktown by Cornwallis. 

Washington made no delay, but on the fifth of Septem- 


ber started for the "Head of the Elk." He had but just 
passed Chester, when he met a courier from Lafayette, with 
announcement of the arrival of the Count de Grasse. Rid 
ing back to Chester, Washington advised Rochambeau of 
the welcome tidings, and then pushed forward, arriving 
at the Head of Elk the next morning. 

The previous day had been one of peculiar excitement 
in the city of Philadelphia. A formal review and rigid 
inspection of the entire French army took place, and the 
President of the American Congress received the honors 
of the occasion. During the evening, the French officers 
gave a grand banquet in honor of Chevalier Lauzun. 
The despatch to Washington was read amid cheers. A halt 
hour later, a second despatch, announcing "the landing of 
Count de Simon and his junction with Lafayette," was 
read ; and read a second time, "all standing" in its honor. 

On this memorable date, September 6th, other events 
of interest are to be noticed. It was Lafayette s twenty- 
fourth birthday. In a letter to his wife, still preserved 
by the family, he poured forth from an overflowing soul, 
his " love for his great Captain " ; " for the American 
cause " ; appreciation of his " enviable lot, as victory is 
drawing nigh," and his "longing to tell her, face to face, 
of thrilling adventures, which had never been interrupted 
by night or day." 

September 6th, also, Clinton wrote to Cornwallis : 

As I find by your letters, that Count de Grasse has got into the 
Chesapeake, and I have no doubt that Washington is moving with at 
least six thousand French and rebel troops against you, I think the 
best way to relieve you, is, to join you, as soon as possible, with all 
the force that can be spared from here, which is about four thousand 
men. They are already embarked, and will proceed, the instant I 
receive information from the admiral that we may venture ; or that 
from other intelligence, the commodore and I should judge sufficient 
to move upon. By accounts from Europe we have every reason to 
expect Admiral Bigby hourly upon the coast. 


On this same sixth of September, Clinton disclosed 
his last move to check Washington s advance, and take 
Cornwallis out of check. Arnold, who had been so 
summarily withdrawn from the South, landed at New 
London, Connecticut, wantonly destroying houses, stores, 
a church, the Court House, ships, and whatever he could 
damage without personal danger to himself; and made 
forever memorable the cruel massacre of Colonel Led- 
yard and the garrison of Fort Griswold after their honor 
able surrender. He no less permanently made memorable 
their extraordinary defence, in which the British assail 
ing column lost one hundred and sixty-three officers and 
men, a number exceeding that of the entire American re 
sisting force. It was soon over ; and Arnold did not dare 
delay, and risk his fate with the yeomanry of his native 
New England. The secret of Clinton s cipher despatch 
to Cornwallis on the second of August, respecting the 
use of Arnold, was thus revealed. But the attention of 
the American Commander-in-Chief was not diverted from 
his own supreme purpose, whatever Clinton might under 
take in his absence. 

The allied French and American armies remained at 
Head of Elk for transportation ; but during that interval, 
Rochambeau accompanied Washington to Baltimore, 
where illuminations and civil honors attested the welcome 
of these distinguished guests. On the ninth, for the first 
time in six years, the American Commander-in-Chief vis 
ited his Mount Vernon home. On the tenth, his own 
staff, together with the Count de Rochambeau and staff, 
were his guests. On the eleventh, General Chastellux 
and aides-de-camp joined the party. On the twelfth, the 
visit came to its close. On the fourteenth of September, 
Washington reached the headquarters of General, the 
Marquis de Lafayette, commanding the Department, at 
William sburg, Virginia. 



THE story of the siege of Yorktown and the sur 
render of Earl Cornwall! s, Lieutenant-General in 
command, has been so fully detailed by many writers that 
only a few features of the general conduct of that cam 
paign, and some special incidents not so frequently 
noticed, are within the province of this narrative. 

While the control of Chesapeake Bay and of Vir 
ginia was essential to British success, Sir Henry Clin 
ton deliberately proposed to couple with that general 
design another invasion of Pennsylvania, but from the 
south. When Cornwallis moved northward from his 
useless position at Wilmington, he was advised by Gen 
eral Clinton to make a movement upon Philadelphia. 
General Clinton must have very feebly remembered the 
circumstances of his hasty departure from that city in 
1778, or have overlooked Washington s strategic con 
trol of that entire region. The movement of Lafayette 
southward, and the energy with which that officer rallied 
Virginians to his support, were not appreciated by 
either of the British Generals in time to be of benefit 
to either. 

Clinton and Cornwallis alike failed to comprehend that 
when the American Commander-in-Chief parted with La 
fayette, and afterwards gave him so large a command, he 
must have had in view some special service which that 



officer could perform with credit as a significant factor in 
the entire campaign. Cornwallis knew, however, that 
unless he could destroy Lafayette s army, the British 
cause in Virginia would certainly be lost. But the same 
profound strategy which had inclosed Clinton at New 
York, isolated Cornwallis at Yorktown. 

Washington was well aware, that neither Louis XVI. 
nor Rochambeau wholly favored an attack upon New 
York. Their objections were substantial. Such a move 
ment involved the presence of enormous naval forces, 
which once within the harbor, might be easily captured 
or destroyed, whenever Great Britain could seriously 
concentrate ships for that purpose. Neither could a 
French fleet secure supplies of any kind, so long as 
Clinton controlled the city. It was the natural naval 
depot of Great Britain for the American coast, and con 
venient for her West India dependencies. France, ever 
willing to aid America, must, however, always have her 
naval base in the West Indies, which wholly depended 
upon her naval supremacy for immunity from British 
aggression. Notwithstanding these considerations, the 
harmony of the French and American alliance was never 
interrupted, and mutual confidence was invariably en 

It is never to be overlooked that Washington cared 
more for his position in New Jersey than for the posses 
sion of New York. Its occupation without a controlling 
fleet, would be as fatal as the presence of a fleet without 
control of the city. 

On the day after his arrival at Lafayette s headquar 
ters, he requested the Count de Grasse to hasten the 
transportation of the American troops from Baltimore ; 
and yet, added a postscript that " Lafayette already 
anticipated " his request. On the seventeenth, he em 
barked with Count Rochambeau, General Knox and Gen- 


efal Du Portail upon the frigate Queen Charlotte; and on 
the eighteenth, visited the Count de Grasse upon his flag 
ship, the Ville de Paris. The distinguished visitors were 
received Avith appropriate honors, and at once took under 
consideration the plan for the most speedy prosecution of 
the siege. 

During that interview, Washington was advised of 
an immediately preceding event which must interest 
the modern reader, at a time when all maritime nations 
are interested in naval development and ships of great 
power. Just before his visit, there had been concen 
trated, about the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, one of 
the heaviest armaments known to maritime warfare. 
Fifty-two ships-of-the-line each with three, or even four 
gun-decks, and ranging from sixty-four to one hundred 
and twenty guns, besides frigates constituted that im 
posing battle array. It has already been noticed that 
Admiral Barras sailed from Newport in convoy of trans 
ports which carried heavy guns for siege use before York - 
town. When Lafayette first moved southward, Wash 
ington supplied his detachment with twelve heavy guns, 
including two eight-inch mortars, one twenty-four and 
two eighteen-pounder guns, for use in arming small 
vessels, or assailing Arnold s .defences. These were diffi 
cult of transportation, but no less indispensable as a 
contingent part of his outfit. The wisdom of these 
provisions had a twofold fruition. A British fleet had 
been detached from the West India station for the purpose 
of supplementing the New York and Newport squadrons. 
Admiral Hood, in command, crossed the mouth of Chesa 
peake Bay just before the arrival of the Count de Grasse ; 
looked into Delaware Bay, and reported to Admiral 
Graves at Sandy Hook on the twenty-fourth day of 
August. That officer had but five ships-of-the-line ready 
for sea. Upon receiving advices from Gardiner s Bay that 



Admiral de Barras had actually sailed southward from 
Newport, he incurred no delay, but on the thirty-first 
of August sailed, with nineteen ships, in pursuit of the 
French. On the fifth of September, he passed within 
the Delaware Capes without having encountered Admiral 
Barras at sea, and without the slightest intimation that he 
was soon to be in the presence of a superior naval adver 
sary. The Count de Grasse, when notified of the appearance 
of so many large ships, supposed at first that the fleet of 
Admiral Barras, already due, was at hand. Seventeen 
hundred of his seamen were on the James River, planting 
heavy batteries ; but so soon as the British flag revealed 
the hostile character of the ships, he moved his first 
division at once, seaward and southward, ordering the 
second division to follow immediately. By this prompt 
and judicious manoeuvre he not only left the northern 
channel open for the admission of De Barras from the 
north, but secured the weather-gauge of the British fleet ; 
and this he maintained with equal skill and intrepidity. 
These great fleets maneuvered for five days without a 
general action, but with several sharp encounters in 
which several vessels suffered severely. The French 
casualties were two hundred and twenty, and the British 
three hundred and thirty-six. 

During this exchange of hostilities, Admiral Barras 
safely entered the bay with seven ships-of-the-line and 
fourteen large transports, bringing heavy guns for the 
siege. (See map.) The Count de Grasse slowly retired, 
followed by Admiral Graves ; but when the latter realized 
that Admiral de Barras had indeed arrived, and that his 
own fleet was now greatly inferior in force to that of his 
adversary, he returned promptly to New York. The Count 
de Grasse at the same time knew that Admiral Digby had 
arrived at New York from the West Indies with three 
line-of-battle ships (reported as six). All these partic- 


ulars of the previous week s operations were communi 
cated to General Washington and his party, on the Ville 
de Paris. These officers at once started for their re 
spective camps. Owing to severe and contrary winds, 
Washington did not reach William sburg until the twenty- 
second. All at once, a very grave question, and one 
which threatened to defeat his carefully matured plans, 
confronted the American Commander-in-Chief. The Count 
de Grasse outlined his purpose as follows : " To detach 
two ships for the mouth of James River ; to leave four 
frigates and several corvettes, in the James ; then, to sail 
for New York, and either intercept or fight the British 
fleet, before it could receive further reinforcements from 
England or the West Indies ; then, to return and act in 
concert, each on his own side." 

Against this departure from the concerted plans of 
Washington and Rochambeau, Lafayette protested in 
vigorous terms. His influence at that time with the 
French Court was paramount as to American affairs, and 
Queen Marie Antoinette was even a greater enthusiast in 
behalf of American liberty than Louis XVI. The instruc 
tions of the King to Rochambeau, already cited, which 
made Rochambeau subordinate to Washington in the 
use of French auxiliary forces, were produced ; and the 
Count de Grasse gracefully withdrew his suggestion and 
accepted the judgment of the generals in command of the 
land forces, as his rule of action respecting his fleet. 

On the twenty-fifth, the remaining troops en route 
from the north reached Williamsburg, making a total of 
twelve thousand regular troops, besides more than four 
thousand militia. On the twenty-eighth, the entire army 
advanced and took position within two miles of the 
British works. On the twenty-ninth, after a thorough 
reconnoissance, the movement began for the complete 
investment of Yorktown, and all its approaches. From 

o Artiticers 
a Laboratory 
o Magazine 


the opening of the first parallel of approach until October 
seventeenth, the activity of the allied forces, the spirited 
and generous emulation of Frenchmen and Americans in 
repulsing sorties, in storming redoubts, in bombardment, 
or silencing the enemy s guns, was incessant by night 
and day. 

A careful inspection of the map will disclose the rela 
tions of the allied forces, and the completeness of the 
investment. Washington opened the fire in person. 
The rivalry of the American and French troops became 
intense. Generals Lincoln, Wayne, Knox, Du Portail, 
Steuben, Nelson, Weedon, Clinton, St. Clair, Law- 
son, and Muhlenburg, with Colonels Hamilton, Stevens, 
Lamb, Carrington, Scammel, and Laurens, were among 
the American leaders. Generals de Boville, de Viomenil, 
Chastellux, de Choisy, de Lauzun, de St. Simon, and 
Colonels de Dumas, de Deux Pont, and Gimat, were as 
active, on the part of the French. 

The line of redoubts and batteries marked F (French) 
had been completed, and it was deemed necessary to storm 
two British redoubts and take them into the parallel. 
Famous soldiers and corps took part in simultaneous 
assault, upon rocket signals, at night. Lafayette, with 
Gimat, Hamilton, Laurens, and Barber, was assigned to 
the redoubt nearest the river. The Baron de Viomenil with 
the Count Deux Pont, supported by the grenadiers of Gati- 
nais, attacked the other. This regiment had been formed 
out of that of Auvergne, once commanded by Rocham- 
beau, and long known as the Regiment cV Auvergne, 
sans tacJie. When drawn up in line, Rochanibeau 
promised that if they did well, he would ask the King 
to restore their old name ; and this was afterwards 
done by Louis XVI. 

Before the signal of attack was given, some light words 
passed between the Baron de Viomenil and Lafayette as to 


the superiority of the French Grenadiers for these attacks. 
Lafayette s column succeeded first, and he promptly de 
spatched Major Barber to the Baron, with a tender of 
Assistance. Hamilton and Laurens were conspicuous for 
gallantry, moving over the abatis with unloaded muskets ; 
and the French officers were equally complimented for 
daring and disregard of British resistance. 

Clinton, at his New York headquarters, was in the 
fullest possible possession of the record of events then 
occurring in and about Yorktown. Space cannot be 
given, even to a glance over his shoulder, as he reads, 
day by day, repeated messages and short postscripts 
from Cornwallis indicating the grave peril of his position, 
and the conviction that protracted resistance is not to be 
looked for. An attempt by Cornwallis, to cross the river 
and gain New York by land, was a failure. On the 
sixteenth, when he ordered these detachments to return, 
he closed his correspondence with Clinton in this sad 
and desperate paragraph : " Our works are going to ruin. 
The boats are now being returned. We cannot fire a 
single gun. Only one eight-inch, and a little more than 
a hundred cohorn shells remain. I therefore propose to 

The seventeenth day of October, 1781, dawned, and at 
10 o clock A.M. two concurrent events occurred, one 
at New York, and its contrary, in Virginia. Sir Henry 
Clinton, accompanied by a command of seven thousand 
choice troops, under convoy of the magnificent squadron 
of twenty-five battleships, two fifty-gun ships, and eight 
frigates, sailed past Staten Island, for the rescue of the 
worn-out garrison of Yorktown. He had previously 
sailed past Sandy Hook, and the reader will appreciate 
the involuntary contrast with a similar departure south 
ward, in the year 1776. 

At the same hour, ten o clock, A.M., a flag of truce 


bore to the headquarters of the American Commander- 
in-Chief, the following note : 

YORK, 17th October, 1781. 
EARL CORNWALLIS To General Washington : 

SIR : I propose a cessation of hostilities for twenty-four hours, and 
that two officers be appointed by each side, to meet at Moore s house, 
to settle terms for the surrender of the posts of York and Gloucester. 

I have the honor to be, etc., 


The following reply partakes of the dignity, wisdom, 
and appreciation of existing conditions which have char 
acterized all letters of Washington previously cited. It 
reads as follows : 

MY LORD : I have the honor to receive your Lordship s letter of 
this date. 

An ardent desire to spare the further effusion of blood will readily 
incline me to such terms for the surrender of your posts of York and 
Gloucester as are admissible. 

I wish, previously to the meeting of the Commissioners, that your 
lordship s proposals, in writing, may be sent to the American lines ; 
for which purpose, a suspension of hostilities during two hours from 
the delivery of this letter will be granted. 

I have the honor to be, etc., 


At half-past four in the afternoon, the proposals of 
Cornwallis were received ; but they were so general in their 
nature, that the Viscount de Noailles and Colonel Laurens, 
on the part of the allied armies, and Colonel Dundas and 
Major Ross, of the British army, were charged with pre 
paring other terms of capitulation, for official signature. 
These were completed on the eighteenth. On the nine 
teenth they were signed at Yorktown, by Cornwallis and 
Thomas Symonds of the Royal Navy, who led the attack 
upon Fort Sullivan (Moultrie) in 1776; and, "In the 


trenches, before Yorktown, in Virginia," by George 
Washington and Le Compte de Rochambeau, and by Le 
Compte de Barras for himself and Le Compte de Grasse. 

At twelve o clock, noon, the two redoubts on the left 
flank of Yorktown were delivered, one to American in 
fantry, and the other to French Grenadiers. At one 
o clock, two works on the Gloucester side of the river 
were respectively delivered to French and American 
troops. At two o clock, P.M., the garrison of York 
marched to the appointed place of surrender in front of 
the post, with shouldered arms, colors cased, and drums 
beating a British march ; grounded their arms, and 
returned to their encampments to await a temporary 
location in the States of Virginia, Maryland, and Penn 
sylvania. At three o clock, P.M., the Gloucester garrison 
also marched forth the cavalry with drawn swords and 
trumpets sounding, and the infantry as prescribed for the 
garrison of York. 

The terms of surrender were the same as those ob 
served when Genera] Lincoln surrendered Charleston to 
Cornwallis, in 1780; and when General O Hara, on ac 
count of the illness of General Cornwallis, tendered the 
sword of that officer to General Washington, as the 
pledge of surrender, he was graciously referred to Gen 
eral Lincoln as its recipient, and that officer as graciously 
returned it. The land forces became prisoners to the 
United States, and the marine forces to the naval army of 
France. (See Appendix F.) 

On the twentieth, Washington issued an order of con 
gratulation to the allied army, in the following words : 

" Divine service is to be performed to-morrow in the 
several brigades and divisions. The Comniander-in-Chief 
earnestly recommends that the troops not on duty should 
universally attend, with that seriousness of deportment 
and gratitude of heart which the recognition of such 


reiterated and astonishing interpositions of Providence 
demand of us." 

The American army which paraded on that Thanksgiv 
ing Day was not the same army that began the war. The 
one central figure, Washington, the Commander-in-Chief, 
is present. Some, crowned with well-deserved honors, 
are serving in the Halls of Congress. Some, worn out in 
service, have retired from active duty. All who had 
inordinate ambition, and cared more for self than country, 
have dropped from the Army Roster. 

After the surrender of Cornwallis, American and French 
officers vied in extending courtesies to the British offi 
cers, as Lafayette describes their visits, "with every sort 
of politeness, especially toward Lord Cornwallis, one of 
the men of the highest character in England, who was 
considered to be their foremost general." In a parting 
interview 7 , Cornwallis replied to Lafayette : "I am aware 
of your humanity toward prisoners of war, and I com 
mend to you my unfortunate army." Lafayette, calling 
attention to the earlier surrender of Burgoyne s army, 
answered : " Your lordship knows that the Americans 
have always been humane toAvards captured armies." 
In recalling the incident in his "Memoires Historiques," 
Lafayette says : "In truth, the English army was treated 
with every possible consideration." 

Washington designated Lafayette as commander of an 
expedition to Wilmington and Charleston, with the 
brigades of Wayne and Gist. In his journal he says : 
" It was to be entrusted to the Marq s de la Fayette, in 
case he could engage the Admiral to convey it & secure 
the debarkation. I left him on board the Ville de Paris, 
to try the force of his influence to obtain these." Although 
fixed for November 1st, it was dropped, and the French 
fleet sailed for the West Indies. 

Lafayette obtained leave of absence, and sailed from 


Boston on the frigate Alliance, December 23rd, having 
affectionately parted with Washington ; and after a pas 
sage of twenty-three days, landed at L Orient, where he 
was cordially welcomed home by his family and the entire 
French people. 

Washington s faithful friend, Rochambeau, remained 
with him, under his command, when the troops of the 
Marquis de St. Simon and the fleet of the Count de Grasse 
sailed for the West Indies. Rochambeau wintered at 
Williamsburg ; in the summer of 1782, returned through 
Philadelphia, to the Hudson ; thence to New England in 
the autumn, and sailed for the West Indies during Decem 
ber, 1782. The American Congress did not fail to appre 
ciate the services of this distinguished French officer. A 


" stand of colors " (ever since appreciated by his family), 
and a piece of ordnance, were gifts ; and it was decreed that 
a marble monument should be erected at Yorktown, fr to 
commemorate the alliance between France and the United 
States, and the victory achieved by their associated arms." 
Even before the departure of Rochambeau from Amer 
ica, the crowning event of the fraternal alliance between 
France and the United States had been realized, and 
Independence was no longer a matter of doubt. On 
the seventh day of May, 1782, Sir Henry Clinton was 
relieved of all further responsibility in command of New 
York, by Sir Guy Carleton ; who assumed command, and 
immediately announced to the American Commander-in- 
Chief that he had been appointed as a Commissioner to 
consider the terms of a permanent peace between Great 
Britain and the United States of America. If the reader 
will recall the antecedents of this officer and the spirit with 
which he paroled the American troops, after the disas 
trous assault upon Quebec in the winter of 1775, he will 
appreciate the fitness of his taking part in the final 
negotiations for fraternity and peace. 


The negotiations between these officers brought into 
striking relief certain qualities of Washington as a soldier 
which have had too slight recognition. The terms f tory " 
and fr royalist" have been used in this narrative as they 
Avere specially in vogue at the different times and places 
where they occur. It has been too often assumed by youth 
who study Revolutionary history, that Hessian soldiers were 
always brutal, that Tarleton and Simcoe, and especially 
the Queen s Rangers, were irresponsible marauders, and 
that the tories generally were cruel, and deserving no 

As a fact, the Revolutionary War had, at its start, 
many of those painful antagonisms among neighborhoods 
and families which always attach to civil conflicts under 
the best possible conditions. Among the thousands who 
adhered to the British cause, and especially among the 
royalist "Provincial Corps," there were eminent divines, 
physicians, lawyers, and scholars. All they had in the 
world was involved in the struggle. Many of these sym 
pathized with the best British statesmen, and longed for 
some adjustment of differences which would not require 
abandonment of their homes in America. By a grave 
oversight on the part of Great Britain, no adequate pro 
vision was made by her ministry for this class of Americans 
who had fought to the last for the Crown. The action 
of Washington in cooperation with Sir Guy Carleton, 
respecting these men, disbanded as soldiers, but cast upon 
the Avorld with no provision for their relief, was so marked 
by generosity, active aid, and wise relief, that until this 
day their descendants in Nova Scotia and Xew Brunswick 
pay glad tribute to his memory. Through the joint efforts 
of these two officers, five thousand were sent to St. John, 
Xew Brunswick. The seventeenth day of May, 1 783, when 
the first large detachment of the Queen s Rangers landed, 
is honored as the Natal Day of that Province. Simcoe, 


their old commander, became the first Governor of Upper 
Canada. In 1792, he organized a miniature Parliament 
of two Houses. He founded the City of Toronto ; and 
in 1796, governed the Island of San Domingo. 

Professor Koberts, in his "History of Canada," already 
cited, represents the migration of thirty thousand Amer 
icans to that country immediately after the Revolutionary 
War, as " no less far-reaching and significant in its results 
than the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth." 

There have been those who regarded as the most noble 
and unselfish act of Washington s public career, his patri 
otic protest against the demands of his unpaid, starving, 
and self-sacrificing comrades, that he accept royal dignity 
or else become the Oliver Cromwell of his generation. 
But the consideration, firmness, and justice with which he 
dismissed these mustered-out, disbanded royalists, and, in 
spite of abuse and outcry, assisted them to independence 
in a land of their own choice, adds another laurel to his 
chaplet as the magnanimous, no less than the great, soldier. 
The subsequent triumphal entry of Washington into the 
City of New York, on the twenty-fifth day of November, 
1783, was the crowning military incident of the war. 

The numerous Centennial observances in honor of 
events of the Revolution, since the second century of 
American Independence began, have helped to bring to 
light many family and other historical data which other 
wise would have been lost ; and all of these relating to 
the American Commander-in-Chief have only confirmed 
the world s estimate of Washington the Soldier. 

Words, at best, are feeble exponents of principles 
which actions so much better reveal ; and battles on 
paper, however minutely described, can never expose the 
brain processes through which military orders are matured ; 
nor can the pen portray the experiences of the " rank and 
file " of a suffering army, during such an ordeal of war as 


that in which George Washington was both the centra 
executive force and the sympathetic guardian of the rights 
of all, of whatever grade of service or duty. Stupidity, 
jealousy, self-sufficiency, personal ambition, and treason, 
could not survive their impact upon Washington. His 
mastery of every antagonistic force, whether professedly 
military or distinctly political, was due to that unsought 
but real supremacy which incarnated unselfish patriotism, 
and made American Independence the sole objective of a 
righteous judgment and an irresistible will. 

On the eighth anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, 
April 19, 1783, the American Commander-in-Chief pro 
claimed a formal " Cessation of hostilities between the 
United States and Great Britain," as the result of ne^o- 


tiations concluded with Sir Guy Carleton on the previous 

This Proclamation, like the Letter of Louis XVI., 
received at Valley Forge on the seventh day of May, 
1778, was ordered to be read at the head of every regiment 
and corps of the army ; after which, as the order reads : 

" The chaplains with the several brigades will render 
thanks to Almighty God for all His mercies ; particularly, 
for overruling the wrath of man to His own glory, and 
causing the rage of War to cease among the nations. 

" On such a happy day, which is the harbinger of 
peace a day which completes the eighth year of the war, 
it would be ingratitude not to rejoice ; it would be insen 
sibility not to participate in the general felicity. 

" Happy, happy, thrice happy, shall they be pro 
nounced, hereafter, who have contributed anything, who 
have performed the meanest office, in erecting this stupen 
dous fabric of freedom and empire on the broad basis of 
independency ; who have assisted in protecting the rights 
of human nature, and in establishing an asylum for the 
poor and oppressed of all nations and religions." 



blending of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Cen- 
turies comes at a moment of such marked transition 
in all that directs human activity and relationship, that the 
promise of Washington s benediction, with which he pro 
claimed peace, seems about to be verified with a fuller, 
grander, and more universal scope of responsibility and 
example than even his sublime faith encompassed. 

" A stupendous fabric of freedom and empire on the 
broad basis of independency," has already been estab 
lished. The present generation and its actors in every 
department of public duty including Washington s suc 
cessor in the Presidential Chair ; the American Congress 
in both Houses ; Governors of all the States ; and respon 
sible agencies in all sections have seemed to unify their 
efforts to maintain the empire thus established. Those 
now living are the heirs to be made " happy, happy, 
thrice happy," through the legacy of his life ; if they do 
their part in " protecting the rights of human nature, and 
in establishing an asylum for the poor and oppressed of 
all nations and religions." 

Nothing in the career of Washington the Soldier was 
more sovereign in its sway over citizens under arms, than 
his constant appeal to a Divine Providence as the truest 
ally of the soul, in hours of grave responsibility and 
peril. This narrative would lose much of its value to 



America and to mankind, if the passages reflecting Wash 
ington s religious faith were to be lightly passed over ; 
and if he were to be measured only as a distinguished 
representative of the military profession. 

He has, indeed, been tested by the sternest maxims of 
the military art. He has been found responsive to their 
most exacting demands. But all such tests are largely 
those of mere intellectual power not disclosing excel 
lence in moral and social relations, except as these illus 
trate " Statesmanship in War," and complement other 
qualifications of the Ideal Soldier. But Washington 
was more than a soldier. It is no ill-conceived paradox 
to assert that the ideal soldier, the greatest soldier, is not 
the man who most literally represents knowledge of the 
military art. It is asserted in the Word of Life, that 
Tr he that ruleth his spirit is greater than he that taketh a 
city." It is not to be forgotten that the only proper 
function of War is, to eliminate disturbants of the public 
peace. To give life for country is to partake of the 
Divine prerogative of giving life for humanity. 

And the soldiers who fought under Washington were not 
mere men, of certain ages, to be handled well in battle, as 
parts of a machine. They were not hirelings, discounting 
the chances of life and death for money. Peace and its 
domesticities represented the goal of their pursuit ; and 
self-sacrifice, even of life, to secure that peace, was their 
conscious service to family, to country, and to God. 
The people, as a people, had no unholy frenzy for war as 
a source of purely military glory. Only barbarous 
nations, or the devotees of some great conqueror or fanat 
ical religionist, can thus pervert the patriotic sentiment 
to the instincts of the beast. 

Washington s army was strong, because strong at 
home. Country, was the aggregate of homes many. 
Never did the term patriotism have a more radiant reflec- 


tion of its intrinsic glory ; and Washington, as " Pater 
Patrice," was so paternal in his trust, that his army was 
filial as well as loyal, in the highest quality of duty to 
their great Captain. His faith in his country s future was 
based upon the intelligence of the people ; and his army 
was both intelligent and religious, because respect for 
law and religion was the basis of the first settlement of 
the American Colonies as well as the foundation upon 
which they established all domestic and political concerns. 

In 1780, Thomas Pownall, once royal Governor of 
Massachusetts, pronounced "American Independence as 
fixed as fate " ; adding : " North America has become a 
new Primary planet,, which, Avhile it takes its own course, 
in its own orbit, must shift the common centre of grav 
ity." He added this significant inquiry : " Will that 
most enterprising spirit be stopped at Cape Horn ; or, 
not pass beyond the Cape of Good Hope ? Before long, 
they Avill be found trading in the South Sea, in the Spice 
Islands, and in China. Commerce will open the door to 
emigration. By constant intercommunication, America 
Avill every day approach nearer and nearer to Europe." 

But this "independency of freedom and empire," pre 
dicted by Washington, is not independency of moral 
obligation, or relation. It carries with its exercise an 
independent control of both moral and physical activities 
with which to insist that its inalienable rights shall be 
universally respected. 

The associated prediction of Washington has also been 
realized in " the establishment of an asylum for the 
poor and oppressed of all nations and religions." Amer 
ica must therefore bear the responsibility of protecting 
her wards everywhere, and penetrate the earth with the 
conviction that wrong done to one, is wrong done to all. 
Oceans are but lakes. Distances are but steps. Neither 
light nor sound outspeed the cry of suffering humanity ; 


and neither light nor sound must be allowed to outrun 
the speed of Avise relief. Beneficiaries of this Empire- 
Asylum, between the great seas, have become elements of 
our wealth and power. They have ceased to be foreign 
elements in crystalized society ; and blend, as integral 
forces in the body politic, just as the elements of air and 
water invisibly combine. Countless messages of hap 
piness, prosperity, and peace cross the great seas by 
every steamship, to cheer their former countrymen with 
the hope of like liberties, in times not far distant, which 
they also shall enjoy. The prayers of a Christian people 
for all mankind, which Heaven doth "gather in vials, as 
sweet odors," are not lost between earth and sky ; but other 
peoples, inhaling wafted fragrance, dream of the Land of 

Whatever may be the jealousies or dislikes of personal 
or dynastic rule abroad, no truly enlightened nation can 
lon remain insensible to that exhibition of moral and 


industrial power under which America is fully equipped 
for the support of her honor and her flag. Her in 
dwelling peace matures and conserves financial independ 
ence ; and infinitely multiplies capacity and resources 
with which to meet every just obligation to all mankind. 
Her peace, while enriching herself, blesses all nations. 
Her products of the shop and farm have become indis 
pensable to the good of all. This new "centre of 
gravity," has become, as Egypt once chanced to be, the 
famine magazine, the granary of relief, to the famishing 
millions of every land. The ability of America to spring 
from the repose of peaceful industry and protect her 
rights and the rights of humanity wherever assailed, has 
compelled the world s consideration and respect. 

The terra incognita of olden times has become the 
busy field of competitive industry. The vast empires of 
China and Japan have caught from the American Republic 


their own best stimulus, and a timely suggestion to resist 
aggressive strangers. From America, they fear no un 
just demands, no plunder of territory, no violation of 
sound principles of international law. China, indeed, only 
feebly responds to the quickening impulse ; while Japan 
recognizes and accepts her opportunity to become an 
independent, self-respecting power a truly modern 
State ! 

At the famous Berlin Conference, Count Schouvaloff of 
Russia, recently retired from public life, proposed a for 
mal Resolution, that no modern arms or ships be sold to 
the empires of the East ; declaring that " if those nations, 
India, China and Japan, were thus armed, and once 
began to contrast their millions of subjects and asso 
ciated poverty, with the smaller populations, but vast 
treasure-houses of Europe, the cities of Vienna, Berlin, 
and Paris, would be in more danger, through some tidal- 
wave of desolation and plunder from the East, than from 
all the standing armies of Europe." And now that the 
earth is but a sensitive " whisper-gallery," and every 
hammer s stroke and every anvil s ring reverberate in 
every machine-shop where despoilers of the East fabri 
cate implements for its dismemberment and ruin, those 
same Eastern nations in part accept, and Japan quotes, 
the wise maxim of Washington: "In peace, prepare for 

Washington s career as a soldier is replete with counsel 
which finds its crowning opportunity in the present atti 
tude of America before the world. So long as we deal 
honorably with all mankind, the buzzing electric energies 
of peace are our best assurance of success in a righteous 
war. Only wanton neglect of prudent and adequate 
preparations for the protection of our commerce, and of 
our citizens wherever they chance to sojourn for legiti 
mate business or pleasure, can engender mistrust of our 


courage, and invite the very aggressions otherwise beyond 
the possibility of occurrence. 

But Washington, skilled in the European complications 
of his times, never imagined that the same European 
nations, or any of them, would select the extreme East as 
the arena from which to replenish wasted home resources 
by force ; and then convert the continent of Europe into 
one vast magazine of dynamite, until all chief agencies 
which belong to domestic prosperity and happiness should 
be drawn into the wild whirl of Colonial adventure, for 
plunder. And as the reader recalls Washington s earnest 
appeals for unity of spirit in all national affairs, and is 
reminded of his Farewell Address to the American People, 
wherein he deprecated all political combinations abroad 
which might qualify or compromise our absolute inde 
pendence as a Free Republic, he will be more profoundly 
impressed with the great fact, that in the present attitude 
of these United States before the world, the sublime an 
ticipations of the " Father of his Country " are maturing 
to a resplendent and complete fulfilment. The only nat 
ural alliance, in the event of monarchical combinations 
to stay the advancing triumph of true liberty, would be a 
concerted action of the United States and the mother 
country, through the inheritance of like bequests under 
Magna Charta. The pregnant future may yet give birth 
to that fruition. 

There is an awful grandeur, more densely charged 
with ills than the fiercest spasms of Nature s fury, in the 
visible armaments which are costing peoples, not thrones, 
annually, more than enough to feed and clothe every suffer 
ing member of the human race. The alleged object is, " to 
preserve the peace," as if every nation naturally antagon 
ized all others. The peace of the silent grave, which would 
turn one s neighbor s soil into a vast cemetery, seems 
to supplant that peace " which passeth understanding," 


when every heart and mind shall enter a condition of 
happy repose and prosperous industry. The inquiry pro 
pounded nearly nineteen hundred years ago "From 
whence come wars and fightings among you?" can be in 
like manner answered, Avith solemn emphasis, to-day. 
No uninspired pen can match the imagery of prophetic 
vision which predicted the outcome of such conditions 
as now threaten mankind " Woe to him that calleth 
Peace, Peace, when there is no peace ! " But greater 
woe shall befall those that " call evil good, and good 
evil ; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness ; 
that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." As with 
the man who wrongeth his neighbor, and taketh that 
which is not his, to his own profit ; so shall it be with 
nations. Only those nations which love righteousness 
and do justice shall rise above the wreck of all oppressors, 
and take part in the enjoyment of that destined era of 
righteousness and peace, when nations shall not " learn 
war any more." That nation alone will be truly great, 
Avhose supreme purpose through every armament and 
armed expression shall be in behalf of humanity, and to 
punish or repress the destroyers of peace. 

But present conditions had their marvellous premo 
nition in 1892 when "a Congress of Nations," and " a 
Parliament of Religions," convened during the World s 
Columbian Exposition, at Chicago, in the State of Illinois. 
For the purpose of that Exposition, a miniature city, 
of more than Roman or Grecian classical beauty and 
adornment, sprang up as by the power of magic, wherein 
all the nations of earth blended their contributions, 
in lines of utility and art. Their representatives, their 
contributors, and their wise men, beheld "the triumphs 
of peace," uncontrolled by the prestige of artificial rank, 
or by the persuasion of bayonet, cimeter, or dagger. 
They journeyed to and fro in safety ; were treated as 


brethren ; as children of one supreme creative Father ; 
and toolv thence some valuable lessons for thoughtful im 
provement. No social banquet at their far-distant homes, 
nor regal display at their national capitals, could have 
surpassed the cordial welcome or the deep significance of 
that purely Republican entertainment. The temporary 
shelter for their pleasure and comfort, costing millions, 
besides their own generous outlay, had its day and its 
uses ; and then was set aside, as one gives away the 
morning daily paper, after its quick perusal. Then 
mighty warehouses, business blocks, and all the per 
manent features of a vast inland city, one thousand miles 
distant from the nearest ocean-port, rose instead of the 
temporary palaces of entertainment ; while the markets 
of the world had received a new impulse, never to be 

And such is the Land of Washington ! His retirement 
from command of the "Continental Army of America," 
in the spirit of Joshua, the Hebrew Captain, when the 
people thought no honor too rich for his reward, magni 
fied his office and immortalized his example. Since his 
career as a soldier demands no elucidation of his office as 
legislator, statesman, or as the first President of these 
United States, there remains little to be added ; except to 
commend to American youth, and to all patriotic youth, 
wherever these pages may invite perusal, the exemplar 
career of one whose unselfish patriotism, moral rectitude, 
and exalted qualities as an Ideal Soldier can never lose 
charm nor value. 

Washington based his hopes of success upon the in 
telligence of the American people. For their proper 
training in arms, and the contingency of a summons to 
defend their dearly bought liberties, he designed the Mili 
tary Academy at West Point on the Hudson. For a 
uniform system of education in all that develops social 


culture and good citizenship, he proposed, with gift of a 
proper site, a National University at the National Capital. 
Since his immediate mission on earth closed, the Ameri 
can Republic, which, under God, he established, has 
donated through religious, educational, and benevolent 
channels, more than three hundred millions of treasure : 
and found full compensation, in the civilization and en 
lightenment thereby imparted to less favored peoples 
throughout the world. The American Census of 1890, 
disclosed the fact, that American eleemosynary gifts 
annually exceeded the cost of the largest standing army 
of the world. 

To-day, America is able, single-handed, to defend her 
honor and her flag, whoever may deride her peaceful 
habits and her homely virtues. The words of Washing 
ton, used upon his return to White Plains in 1778, as 
emphatically appeal to the American people to-day, as 
when they were first uttered. 

A Nation of nearly eighty millions stands ready to 
vindicate the loftiest aspirations and redeem the confi 
dence of Washington. So surely as the Almighty Father 
is a covenant-keeping God, whatever may be the scenes 
of conflict forwarding His purpose, He will emancipate 
man from error s chain and the oppressor s lash ; and this 
Republic must be ever prepared to maintain, from genera 
tion to generation, one sentiment of the great Soldier 

" The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous, 
that he must be worse than an infidel, that lacks faith ; 
and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to 
acknowledge his obligation." 




The American Army, after 1776, never equalled thirty-eight 
thousand Regulars, at any one time. Small, temporary, and 
unorganized detachments of minute-men were often employed 
to meet sudden forays ; but the aggregate of those who after 
wards claimed Revolutionary service was far beyond the actual 
numbers subject to Washington s orders, or under control by 

In stating these aggregates as credited to their respective 
States, under their designated quota, it is to be taken into 
account, that each enlistment received a special credit, and 
generally, by years or term of service. Hence, many who 
served from April 19, 1775, until the nineteenth of April, 1783, 
counted as eight, in the aggregate. 

In the American Civil War of 1861- 65, the same rule fol 
lowed. Nine Ohio regiments, for example, and those militia, 
marched to West Virginia for three months, reenlisted for 
three years, and then reenlisted for the war. Several " One 
Hundred Day " regiments, including the Sixtieth Massachu 
setts, and many in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, became credits 
to their respective States. The same men were sometimes 
counted three times that is, for each reenlistment. 

The contributions of the States, during the Revolutionary 
War, on this basis, were as follows : 

New Hampshire . 
Ehode Island . . 

. . . 12,497 
. . . 69,907 
. . . 5,908 
. . 31,939 

Delaware . 

. . . 2,386 

. . . 13 912 

. . . 26,678 

North Carolina . 
South Carolina . 

. . . 7,263 
. . . 6,417 
. . 2 679 

New York . . . 
New Jersey 
Total . 

. . . 17,781 
. . . 10,726 

. . . 25,678 

. 233,771 

Also, see Index, " American Army." 





The original organization of the American Navy is noticed 
on pages 59-60 of the text. 

On the thirteenth of December, 1775, several frigates, were 
authorized, the annexed figures indicating their rate, by guns : 

Alliance (32), twice identified with Lafayette (pp. 
253, 361), and sold after the war. 

Andrea Doria (32), burned in the Delaware to pre 
vent capture 1777 

Boston (28), captured at Charleston .... 1780 

1 Congress, burned in the Hudson, to prevent capture, 1777 

Delaware (24), captured by the British, in the Dela 
ware ......... 1777 

Effingham (28), destroyed by the British, in the 

Delaware 1777 

Hancock (32), taken by British ships Rainbow (44) 

and Victor (16) 1777 

1 Montgomery (24), burned in the Hudson to prevent 

capture 1777 

Providence (28), captured at Charleston . . . 1780 

Queen of France (18), captured at Charleston . . 1780 

Raleigh (32), captured by the British ships Experi 
ment (50) and Unicorn (16) . . . . 1777 

Randolph (32), blown up in action with the Yarmouth 

(64) 1778 

The Confederacy (32), taken by a British ship-of-the- 

line, off the Virginia coast 1781 

Trumbull (28), taken by British fleet, near Cape 

Henry 1778 

1 Never went to sea. 


Virginia (28), taken by British fleet, near Cape Henry, 1778 
Warren (32), burned in the Penobscot, by the Amer 
icans 1779 

Washington (32), destroyed by the British, in the 

Delaware 1778 

NOTE. John Paul, who took the name of John Paul Jones through grat 
itude to a citizen of North Carolina who assisted him in securing a naval 
commission (noticed on page 60 of the text), distinguished himself upon 
the British coast, and in his capture of the British ship Serapis, Sept. 23, 
1779. His own ship, the Bon Ifomme Richard, w&s fitted out in France, 
by the aid of Benjamin Franklin, to war against British commerce. 
Franklin, in the issue of his " Almanack," with shrewd business and 
moral maxims at the bottoms of the pages, used the nom-de-plume, " Poor 
Richard." It Avas graceful in John Paul to name the ship Richard, in 
Franklin s honor, with a complimentary prefix. 

Of the later navy, that of 1812, the Brandy wine (44), named after the 
battle of that name, was placed at the service of Lafayette when he visited 
America in 1825. (See note at end of Chapter XVIII., concerning La 
fayette as first appearing in that battle.) 




The analogies between the Revolutionary War and later 
American wars are noticed in the Preface. Some special points 
should be noted for further comparisons. 

The field casualties, including killed and wounded, in twenty- 
six of the principal engagements of the Revolution, do not 
greatly exceed 9,000 ; but other causes kept the army upon a 
very unsatisfactory basis in respect of numbers as well as 

Operations in Canada, early in the war, irrespective of the 
expeditions of Montgomery and Arnold, cost, through a visita 
tion of small-pox, 5,000 lives in sixty days. (Page 88.) 

At the April muster of the army in 1776, only 8,303, out of 
a total of 10,235, were fit for duty. (Page 87.) 

At the August muster, 1776, 3,678 were reported as sick, 
either present or on furlough, out of a total of 17,225. (Pages 
101, 102.) 

At the September muster, 1776, less than 20,000 were re 
ported as fit for duty (page 114), out of a total of 27,000 
(page 103). 

At the Battle of Trenton, Christmas night, 1776, more than 
1,000 out of a force of 2,400 were disabled by frost during the 
brief march and engagement which gave such fresh vigor to 
the cause of American Independence. (Page 142.) 

At the October muster of the same year, out of a total of 
25,735, the large number of 8,075 was reported as sick, or on 
furlough. (Page 122.) 

The camps at Morristown, Valley Forge, and at the South, 
were scenes of great suffering, distress, and waste. The suf 
fering was greater in crowded and stationary camps than when 


on the march. Special diseases like measles, then as ever 
since, prostrated great numbers who suddenly changed house 
for canvas shelter. In 1862, at one of the healthiest canton 
ments at the North, near Indianapolis, fully 1,400 were dis 
abled for duty within four weeks after reporting for muster. 
A similar experience marked Camps Chase, Dennison, and 
Jackson, Ohio, and Camp Douglas, Illinois. 

That " three months " service in 1861 was exceptionally 
effective under existing conditions, and similar service in the 
war with Spain, in 1898, reads more like some fabulous tale 
than the faithful record of continuous victories by an impro 
vised army, with a minimum sacrifice of life. (See Military 
Notes in Preface.) 

In the Revolutionary War, gardens and orchards, near 
camps, seriously endangered both discipline and health. 
Home luxuries from visiting friends became so injurious in 
their effects that Washington was compelled to deal sternly 
with this mistaken kindness. Besides all this, quartermas 
ters and commissaries, ignorant of their duties, speculated 
upon public stores ; and even surgeons embezzled supplies 
until some regiments had no medicines for immediate emer 
gencies. (Page 123.) 

Derelictions from duty were not peculiar to Revolutionary 
times. Early in 1861, when haste was so urgent, and the 
North was not prepared to clothe promptly even seventy-five 
thousand men, the First and Second Ohio reached Harrisburg, 
en route for Washington, only to find that the uniforms con 
tracted for and delivered were worthless. The Fifteenth Ohio, 
after a rain, found themselves at Graf ton, W. Va., just after 
the battle of Philippi, with soleless shoes, glue having been 
used in their manufacture instead of pegs or thread. The 
Adjutant-General of that State, then inspecting Ohio troops, 
peremptorily forbade their moving until an entire refit could 
be supplied, and William Dennison, then Governor, sustained 
his action. 

The Continental Congress, during the war with Great Brit 
ain, tried to act as Commander-in-Chief, until in conscious 
impotence it surrendered military trusts to Washington, with 


the impressive Resolution, that " the very existence of civil 
liberty depends upon the right exercise of military powers," 
and that "the vigorous, decisive conduct of these" is 
" impossible in distant, numerous and deliberative bodies." 
(Page 148.) 

The Revolutionary War, therefore, illustrated every form 
of distemper which belongs to war in a republic, when its 
citizens are suddenly called to face camp and battle condi 
tions without adequate training and preparation in advance. 
Jealousy of a standing army, greed for office and place, and 
incessant, selfish, or self-asserting antagonisms, were the chief 
burdens that grieved the soul and embarrassed the movements 
of Washington, the American Commander-in-Chief. 




The British. Official Records show that the entire British 
force in America, including troops in Canada, Florida and the 
Bahama Islands, hardly exceeded, at any one time and then 
not until 1780 42,000 men. Some of the regiments appear 
upon the maps as participants in battles from the attack upon 
Breed s Hill until the final surrender of Cornwallis. The 
colonels of these regiments, under British regulations, held 
command as general officers ; but the regiments retained their 
personal relation to the commanding officer, although the 
lieutenant-colonel commanded the battalions in the field, one 
recruiting battalion always remaining at the home depot. 

The following Tables have peculiar value, being compiled 
direct from original sources : 

J. British regiments assigned to America, J776, 

17th Dragoons . 

Preston s. 

43d Foot . . 

. Cray s. 

4th Foot . . . 

Hodgsin s. 

44th Foot . 

. Abercrombie s. 

5th Foot . . . 

Percy s. 

45th Foot . 

. Haviland s. 

10th Foot . . 

Sanford s. 

47th Foot . 

. Carleton s. 

22d Foot . . . 

Gage s. 

49th Foot . 

. Maitland s. 

23d Foot . . . 

Howe s. 

52d Foot . . 

. Clavering s. 

35th Foot . . 

F.H.Campbell s. 

63d Foot . . 

. T. Grant s. 

38th Foot . . 

Pigot s. 

64th Foot . 

. Pomeroy s. 

40th Foot . . 

Hamilton s. 

65th Foot . 

. Armstrong s. 

The above were stationed in Boston, with five companies of the Royal 

On their passage from Ireland to Boston : 

17th Foot 
27th Foot 

Monkton s. 

Massey s. 

Then, in Canada : 

7th Foot . . . Berlier s. 

8th Foot . . . T. Armstrong s. 

46th Foot 
53d Foot . 

26th Foot . 
2 Companies 

Vaughan s. 
James Grant s. 

Lord Gordon s. 
Royal Artillery. 



lieady to sail for America, from Cork : 

15th Foot 
33d Foot . 
37th Foot 

Caven s. 

Cornwallis . 

Coote s. 

42d Foot . 
54th Foot 
57th Foot 

Lord Murray s. 

Frederick s. 

Invin s. 

Ordered for Boston : 
16th Dragoons . Burgoyne s. 

Ordered for Quebec : 
9th Foot . . . Lagonier s. 

King s Guards . 1,000 men. 

34th Foot 
33d Foot 
62d Foot 

Lord Cavendish s. 

Elphinstone s. 

Jones . 

20th Foot . . Parker s. 
24th Foot . . Taylor s. 

Also, 29th Foot upon opening of navigation. 

Cunningham s Regiment, the 14th Foot, was in part in Virginia ; the 
residue, with a Company of the Royal Artillery, was at St. Augustine, 

2. British Army at the Battle of Long Island. 


Four Battalions of Light Infantry and the Light Dragoons. 


Four Battalions of Grenadiers, 33d and 42d Regiments. 


IST BRIGADE .... 44th, 15th, 27th and 45th Regiments. 

2D BRIGADE .... 5th, 28th, 55th and 49th Regiments. 

3o BRIGADE .... JOth, 37th, 38th and 52d Regiments. 

4iH BRIGADE .... 17th, 40th, 40th and 55th Regiments. 

STH BRIGADE .... 22d, 43d, 54th and 63d Regiments. 

GTH BRIGADE .... 23d, 44th, 57th and 64th Regiments. 

7TH BRIGADE .... 71st Highland Regiment, New York 

Companies and Royal Artillery. 

Colonel Donop s command consisted of the Hessian Grenadiers and the 

General De Heister s command consisted of two Hessian brigades. 


General Clinton in his report gives Howe s " effectives fit for duty " as 
26,980 officers not included; but, including all officers, commissioned 
and non-commissioned, as 31,625 men. 

3. British effective force in America, June 3, 1777. 

In New Jersey. 
British Artillery . 
British Cavalry . . 
British Infantry . . . 
Hessian Infantry . . 
Anspach Infantry . 

Aggregate, 17,090. 







In New York. 
British Artillery . . 
British Infantry . 
Hessian Infantry . . 






On this date, 2,631 men had been sent to Rhode Island, and the total 
force of foreign troops which had arrived including those of Hesse, 
Anspach, and Waldeck amounted to 14,777. 

4. British effective force in America, March 26, 1778. 

British . 



Aggregate, 33,756. 

In New 



In Phila 



In Rhode 





5. Aug. 15, 1778. 

In New York and vicinity, 19,586; in Long Island, 8,117; in Rhode 
Island, 5,189; Lord Howe s fleet, 512; making an aggregate of 33,404. 

A later return of November 1, on account of troops sent to Halifax and 
to the West Indies, reduced the aggregate to 22,494 for duty. 

6. May 1, 1779. 

New York - 9,123 I Halifax 3,677 

Long Island 6,056 Georgia 4,794 

Staten Island 1,344 West Florida 1,703 

Paulus Hook 383 Bermuda and Providence 

Hoboken 264 Island 470 

Rhode Island 5,644 


Aggregate, 33,458. 

7. December 1, 1779. 
At New York and its dependencies : 

British 13,848 

German 10,836 

Provincial .......... 4,072 

Total 28,756 

Halifax and Penobscot 3,460 

Georgia ..... ..... 3,930 

West Florida 1,787 

Bermuda and Providence Island 636 

Total 9,813 

Aggregate, 38,569. 



8. British effective force in America, May 1, 1780. 
























British . 



17,324 12,847 3,508 1,453 1,878 

Aggregate, including East Florida, Providence Island and Bermuda, 

9. December \ t 1780. 

West Florida 1,261 

Nova Scotia 3,167 

Bermuda 387 

Providence Island 143 

New York 


On an expedition 
South Carolina . 




Aggregate, 33,313; besides Provincial troops, 8,954. Total, 42,267. 

10. May J, 1781. 

New York 12,257 

On an expedition . . . 1,782 

With Leslie 2,278 

With Arnold 1,553 

With Phillips . . . . 2,116 

South Carolina .... 7,254 

Aggregate forces, 33,374. 


East Florida 438 

West Florida 1,185 

Nova Scotia 3,130 

Bermuda 366 

Providence Island . . . 128 

Georgia 887 

11. Sept. 1, 1781. 

New York. Virginia. S.Carolina. Georgia. Floridas. 
British, 5,932 5,544 5,024 920 

German, 8,629 2,204 1,596 486 558 

Provincial, 2,140 1,137 3,155 598 211 


N. Scotia. W. Indies. 
1,745 498 


Total, 16,701 8,885 9,775 1,084 1,689 3,452 

Aggregate, including Providence Island and Bermuda, 42,075. 

NOTE. Stedman has the following estimate : 

August . 




. 24,000 



IN 1777. 











To remain in Canada, part of 8th regiment, 460 men ; 
part of 34th, 348 men ; parts of 29th and 31st regiments, 
896 men ; eleven additional companies expected from Great 
Britain, 616 men ; brigade detachments, 300 men ; detach 
ments from German troops, 650 men, and Royal Highland 
emigrants, 500 men ; making a total of 3,770 men. 

The army of invasion (see page 171) numbered as follows : 

The grenadiers and light infantry (except of the 8th and 24th 

regiments), as the advance corps under General Eraser . 1,568 

First brigade ; battalion companies of the 9th, 21st, and 47th 

regiments .......... 1,194 

Second brigade ; battalion companies of the 20th, 53d, and 62d 

regiments, leaving 50 of each in Canada .... 1,194 

German troops, except the Hanau Chasseurs, and 650 left in 

Canada 3,217 

Total, with artillery ....... 

To this force were to be associated " as many Canadians and 
Indians as might be thought necessary for the service." 




This force, when fully concentrated on Virginia, Aug. 1, 
1781, consisted of the following troops : British, 5,541 ; Ger 
man, 2,148 ; Provincials, 1,137 ; on detachments, 607 ; making 
a total of 9,433 men. 

The general Return of officers and privates surrendered at 
Yorktown, as taken from the original Muster Rolls, is stated 
by the Commissary of prisoners to have been as follows - 
General and staff, 79 ; Artillery, 23 ; Guards, 527 ; Light In 
fantry, 671 ; 17th Reg t, 245 ; 23d Reg t, 233 ; 33d Reg t, 260 ; 
43d Reg t, 359 ; 71st Reg t, 300 ; 76th Reg t, 715 ; 80th Reg t, 
689; two battalions of Anspach, 1,077 (these two battalions 
alone had Colonels present), Prince Hereditary, 484 ; Regi 
ment of De Bose, 349; Yagers, 74; British Legion, 241; 
Queen s Rangers, 320 ; North Carolina Vols., 142 ; Pioneers, 
44 ; Engineers, 23. Total, including commissary department, 
and 80 followers of the army, 7,247 men. Total of officers 
and men, 7,073. Seamen and from shipping, about 900 offi 
cers and men. Other authorities increase this number to 
over 8,000. It is evident that the Return of August 15, cited 
on page 385, overestimates the really effective force. 

Seventy-five brass cannon, 69 iron guns, 18 German and 6 
British regimental standards, were among trophies captured. 

The military chest contained 2,113, 6s, sterling. The 
Guadaloupe 28, the old Foivey, the Bonetta (sloop) 24, and 
Vulcan (fire-ship), thirty transports, fifteen galleys, and many 
smaller vessels, with nearly 900 officers and seamen, were sur 
rendered to the French. 











JOHN LAWRENCE, Judge- Advocate. 

The Court met July 1, 1778, at the house of Mr. Voorhees, 
New Brunswick, N.J. 

The charges were as follows : 

First For disobedience of orders, in not attacking the 
enemy on the twenty-eighth of June, agreeably to repeated 

Second For misbehavior before the enemy on the same day, 
by making an unnecessary, disorderly, and shameful retreat. 

Third For disrespect to the Commander-in-Chief, in two 
letters dated the first of July and the twenty-eighth of June. 


On the twelfth of August, the Court found him to be guilty 
under all the charges, and sentenced him to be "suspended 
from any command in the Armies of the United States of 
America, for the term of twelve months. 7 

Forty-two witnesses were examined. (See page 235 of 
text, for their unanimity in vindication of Washington from 
use of any language not proper, in his rebuke of Lee at the 
time of his retreat.) 


The following are the letters that concluded with Lee s 
demand for a court-martial : 


CAMP ENGLISH-TOWN, July 1, 1778. 

SIR : From the knowledge I have of your Excellency s character, I 
must conclude that nothing but misinformation of some very stupid, or 
misrepresentation of some very wicked, person, could have occasioned 
your having made use of so very singular expressions as you did on my 
coming up to the ground where you had taken post ; they implied that I 
was guilty either of disobedience of orders, of want of conduct, or want 
of courage ; your Excellency will therefore infinitely oblige me by letting 
me know on which of these three articles you ground your charge, that I 
may prepare for my justification, which, I have the happiness to be con 
fident, I can do to the army, to the Congress, to America, and to the world 
in general. Your Excellency must give me leave to observe that neither 
yourself nor those about your person could, from your situation, be in 
the least judges of the merits or demerits of our manoeuvres; and, to 
speak with a becoming pride, I can assert, that to these manoeuvres, the 
success of the day was entirely owing. I can boldly say, that had we 
remained on the first ground, or had we advanced, or had the retreat been 
conducted in a manner different from what it was, this whole army and 
the interests of America would have risked being sacrificed. I ever 
had, and hope ever shall have, the greatest respect and veneration for 
General Washington ; I think him endowed with many great and good 
qualities ; but in this instance, I must pronounce that he has been guilty 
of an act of cruel injustice towards a man who certainly has some pre 
tentious to the regard of every servant of this country; and, I think, Sir, 
I have a right to demand reparation for the injury committed, and, unless 
I can obtain it, I must, in justice to myself, when this campaign is closed 
(which I believe will close the war), retire from a service at the head of 
which is placed a man capable of offering such injuries; but, at the same 
time, in justice to you, I must repeat, that I from my soul believe, that it 
was not a motion of your own breast, but instigated by some of those 
dirty earwigs who will forever insinuate themselves near persons in high 
office ; for I really am convinced, that when General Washington acts 
for himself no man in his army will have reason to complain of injustice 
or indecorum. 

I am, Sir, and hope ever shall have 

Reason to continue, your most sincerely 
Devoted, humble servant, 




CAMP, June 27, 1778. 

SIR : I beg your Excellency s pardon for the inaccuracy in misdating 
my letter. You cannot afford me greater pleasure than in giving me the 
opportunity of showing to America the sufficiency of her respective ser 
vants. I trust that the temporary power of office, and the tinsel dignity 
attending it, will not be able, by all the mists they can raise, to obfuscate 
the bright rays of truth ; in the meantime, your Excellency can have no 
objection to my retiring from the army. 

I am, Sir, your most obedient, 

Humble servant, 




SIR: I received your letter (dated through mistake, the 1st of July), 
expressed, as I conceive, in terms highly improper. I am not conscious 
of having made use of any very singular expressions at the time of my 
meeting you, as you intimate. What I recollect to have said was dic 
tated by duty and warranted by the occasion. As soon as circumstances 
will permit, you shall have an opportunity either of justifying yourself 
to the army, to Congress, to America, and to the world in general, or of 
convincing them that you were guilty of a breach of orders, and of mis 
behavior before the enemy on the 28th inst., in not attacking them as you 
had been directed, and in making an unnecessary, disorderly, and shame 
ful retreat. 

I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, 


After the reading of the foregoing letters by the Judge- 
Advocate, General Lee requested the following letter to be 
also read : 

CAMP, June 30, 1778. 

SIR : Since I had the honor of addressing my letter by Colonel Fitz 
gerald to your Excellency, I have reflected on both your situation and 
mine, and beg leave to observe, that it will be for our mutual con 
venience that a Court of Inquiry should be immediately ordered : but I 
could wish it might be a court-martial, for if the affair is drawn into 
length, it may be difficult to collect the necessary evidences, and per 
haps might bring on a paper war betwixt the adherents to both parties, 


which may occasion some disagreeable feuds on the continent, for all 
are not my friends, nor all your admirers. I must entreat, therefore, 
for your love of justice, that you will immediately exhibit your charge, 
and that on the first halt, I may be brought to a trial ; and am, Sir, your 
most obedient, humble servant, 


The date of the assembling of the court-martial shows that 
Washington acted promptly. 


Abatis. Felled trees, with sharpened branches, pointing outward 

toward an approaching enemy. 

Bastion. A work of two faces and two flanks, with salient angles. 
Batteau. An old-style flatboat of large capacity, in form of the modern 

Billet. An old term for a brief letter ; or, an assignment of troops to 

certain quarters. 
Boom. A chain cable or line of spars bound together to prevent the 

passage of vessels at a harbor entrance, or across a river. 
Cabal. A plot, or secret intrigue. 
Cantonment. A lodgment for troops. 
Cheveau-de-Frise. A cylinder, of iron Avhen practicable, with sharp, 

projecting spears on all sides ; to oppose an invading force, or to close 

a gap in the defences. 

Command. A body of troops, or a separate command. 
Corduroy. (" Cord of the King.") An extemporized road, a uniting 

cord, by a series of parallel logs across a swamp or soft ground. 
Countersign. A confidential word of recognition, changed daily or 

more frequently, emanating from the officer in chief command. 
Curtain. A wall connecting two bastions. 
Detachment. A fraction of a command, or troops assigned to some 

special duty. 

Detail. An assignment for special duty. 
Engineering. See PREFACE. 

Fascines. Bundles or faggots of brushwood, or small poles, tied to 
gether, for defence or for crossing swamps. 
Fusee. A small musket of early times. 
Gabions. Cylindrical wicker baskets open at both ends, filled for 

defensive purposes, making a temporary parapet. 
Galleys. Small vessels of light draft. 
Grand Tactics. See PREFACE. 
Hurdles. Pickets about three feet high, united by twigs, to give a solid 

footing for a battery, or for crossing soft ground and swamps. 
Itinerary. Record of daily marches ; including notes of country trav 
ersed, streams crossed, and whatever may be valuable for record or 

subsequent guidance. 



Line-of -battle ship. A full-rigged ship, with two or more gun-decks. 

Log-book. The itinerary of a ship. 

Logistics. See PREFACE. 

Magazine. A depot of powder or of other supplies . 

Muster. A detailed record of troops, periodical or otherwise, for exact 

information of the force under command. 
Orderly Book. A record of current orders, whether of commissioned 

or non-commissioned officers. 

Parapet. A work, breast-high or more, for defence. 
Patrol. A small scouting-party beyond the usual line of sentries ; or a 

detail of search as to the movements of the enemy. 
Picket. An outside sentry, to guard against surprise. 
Quota. A fixed apportionment upon the basis of numbers. 
Reconnoissance. A personal examination of country within the range 

of military movements. 
Redoubt. An inclosed defence. 

Rendezvous. A designated place for assembling troops or supplies. 
Roster. A list of officers, or of officers and men ; on any duty, or subject 

to duty. 

Salient. An angle projecting outward, toward hostile approach. 
Strategy. See PREFACE. 
Surveillance. On the constant watch, with critical observation- of 

existing or contingent conditions. 
Taking Post. Occupying a designated position, whether under orders, 

or in the contingencies of a march or an advance. 
Zone. A belt or stretch of country, indicating the sphere of action of 

the various parts of an army, which secures concert of action in com 
bined movements. 




NOTE. The contemporaries of Washington named in this index are in general only 
persons so associated with or opposed to the cause he stood for as to influence his mili 
tary action. 

Events are treated and indexed in chronological order, so that the index becomes 
thereby a miniature biography of the characters taking part in the events narrated. It 
may ofteii prove interesting to note the age of a prominent actor in these events at the 
time, by calculating it from the year of his birth when given below. 

ABBREVIATIONS. For various nationalities: Am. (American); Rr. (British); 
Fr. (French) ; //. (Hessian). In the biographical notices, b. for birth and d. for death 
are used; and occasionally, k. for killed, w. for wounded, and like familiar abbrevia 
tions may be found. The subsequent career of many is indicated thus Cornwallis, 
sub. gov.-gen. India. 

Acts of Parliament to be resisted, 17 

ADAMS, JOHN statesman; sub. 

pres. twice; b. 1735, d. 1826. 

in first Continental Congress, 16 

on special naval committee ... 60 

commissioner in the interests of 

peace 116 

his influence abroad 309 

ADAMS, SAMUEL orator; b. 1722, 

d. 1803. 
exempted from the proffered 

pardon ... 32 

his opinion of a regular 

army 299 

AGNEW, JAMES Br. maj.-gen- 

eral ; k. at Germantown. .196 

Alamance, N.C., battle of, May 16, 

1771 84 

Albany Convention of July 4, 

1754 "..12 

ALLEN, ETHAN col. ; b. 1637, 

d. 1789. 
captures Ticonderoga, May 10, 

1775 30 

tries to capture Montreal, with 
out orders 62 

captured and sent to England, 62 
insubordination commented up 
on by Washington 62 

Alliance frigate, twice takes Lafay 
ette to France 253, 362 

American army, wholly composed 
of militia. . . .21 

American army, continued 

call for 30,000 under arms. . .22 

officially recognized 32 

its strange experience, March 

2, 1776 75 

occupies Boston, March 17, 

1776 80 

begins its first campaign 83 

April muster, 1776 87 

August muster, 1776 101 

September muster 114 

85 regiments authorized. ... 116 
its condition, Sept. 10, 1776, 119 

October muster 122 

its lack of discipline 123 

Lee s grand division 135 

special muster ordered by Wash 
ington, Nov. 23, 1776 136 

its condition, Dec. 30, 1776, 147 

parades in Philadelphia 183 

August muster, 1777 184 

condition at Valley Forge, Dec., 

1777 205-6 

at Newport, 1778 242 

assignments of divisions, 

1778 247 

fixed at 80 battalions 252 

at Philadelphia, weakened in 

discipline 252 

its condition, Dec., 1779 .... 269 
its condition, Nov. 7, 1780, 296 
reorganization proposed. ...298 
new basis, of 36,000 men. ..299 




American army, continued 

divisions again assigned. . ..300 

its condition, 1781 306 

mutinous elements noticed. .307 

afthe South 315-317 

at Peekskill, 1781 333 

before Yorktown, 1781 356 

by States (Appendix A) ... .377 

American Civil War referred to, 

for comparison (Preface), vii 

policy defined 91 

commissioners appointed in the 

interests of peace 115 

cow-boys near New York . . . 255 

speculators feed the British, 306 

Americo-Spanish War of 1898 illus- 

t r a t i n g the principle of 

" Strategy and Statesmanship 

in War " (Preface) x, xii 

ANDRJ&, JOHN Br. major, sub. 
asst. adjt.-gen. ; b. 1751, d. 

taken prisoner, at St. John s. 62 
arranges fete in h o n o r of 

Howe 215 

at capture of Charleston. . .275 

his antecedents noticed 289 

former relations to Miss Ship- 
pen 289 

executed as a spy 290 

his fate regretted 290 

exchange for Arnold morally 

impracticable 291 

ANGELL, col. ; at Fort Mercer, 

R.I 201 

at Battle of Springfield . .283-4 
ral ; b. 1711, d. 1794. 

arrives at New York 261 

relieves Sir George Collier, 261 

fights a French fleet 326 

Armies of modern times 370-1 

of the Revolution as given by 
the British authority, Sted- 

man (Appendix D) 386 

Arms from France 164 

ARMSTRONG, JOHN brig. -gen. ; 
b. 1758, d. 1843. 

at Brandywine 186 

on the Schuylkill 192 

ARNOLD, BENEDICT sab. maj.- 

gen.; b. 1740, d. 1801. 
takes a company to Boston . .30 
hastens to Lake Champlain . . 30 

anticipated by Allen 30 

organizes a naval force 30 

loved by Washington 45 

Arnold, Benedict, continued 

returns in angry mood 51 

proposes conquest of Canada, 51 
his expedition for Quebec. . .55 

his disastrous march 64 

wounded in a bold assault .... 66 
his captains refuse longer ser 
vice 66 

the siege of Quebec fails. . . .66 

at Providence 163 

unjustly treated by Congress, 165 

gallantry at Ridgefield 166 

in command at Philadelphia, 167 
gallantry in Burgoyne c a m - 

paign 176 

finally promoted 176 

court-martialed 274 

is married to Miss Shippen .289 
suffers from old wound, 222, 288 
in command at West Point. 288 
corresponds with Clinton. . .288 
invites Andre to visit him . . 290 
dictates price of his treason, 290 
antecedents in Philadelphia, 289 
his treason anticipated by Lord 

Germaine 28$ 

his exchange for Andre impos 
sible without dishonor . . .291 
leaves N.Y. with troops. . . .310 

overtaken by a storm 310 

his discretion doubted by Clin 
ton ...310 

plunders Richmond, Va 311 

cannot intimidate Jefferson, 311 
returns to fortify Ports 
mouth 311 

writes to Lafayette 331 

treated with silent contempt, 331 
tries threats to no purpose, 331 
relations with Gen. Phillips, 331 
ordered back to New York, 331 
lays waste New London. . . .351 

his recall explained 351 

ARNOLD, Mrs. (formerly Miss 
Shippen) ignorant of Ar 
nold s treason 28$ 

honored by Washington. . . .291 

sympathy of Lafayette 291 

Articles of Confederation finally 

adopted 30$ 

" Art of War " (Preface) x-xii 

ASHE, JOHN brig. -gen. ; b. 1721, 
d. 1781; declares while 
speaker of the North Caro 
lina Assembly, concerning the 
Stamp Act, " We will resist 
its execution to the death," 13 



ATLEE, SAMUEL J. col. ; b. 1738, 

d. 1786. 

joins the army at Brooklyn, 105 
commands Pennsylvania 

Rifles 105 

makes a gallant fight 107 

prisoner with Stirling 107 

Augusta 74, Br. ; blown up in the 

Delaware 202 

Aux Trembles reached by Benedict 

Arnold G5 

reached by Montgomery ... .05 
reached by Carleton 06 

Baltimore pays honor to Rocham- 

beau and Washington. . . .351 

BANCROFT, GEORGE diplomat and 

historian; b. 1800, d. 1891. 
as to the invasion of Canada, 54 | 
his estimate of Washington, 250 
Count DE Fr. admiral ; b, 
1755, d. 1829. 

sails from Newport 354 

enters the Chesapeake 355 

signs capitulation of York- 
town 360 

also signs for Count de 

Grasse 360 

Bennington unwisely attacked by 
Burgoyne ; anticipated b y 

Washington 176 

Berlin conference noticed 370 

BIDDLE, NICHOLAS -- appointed 

naval captain 60 

Billingsport raided by Cornwal- 

lis 203 

BIRD Br. lieut.-col. ; k. at Ger- 

mantown 196 

BLACKSTONE chief of the Sene- 
cas ; friend o f Washing 
ton 260 

Bordentown occupied by Donop 

(//.) , 139 

occupied by Cadwallader . . . 156 

visited by British troops. . . .213 

Boston massacre of March 5, 

1770 15 

Tea Party entertainment, Dec. 

16, 1773 15 

Port Bill, 1774 15 

surrounded by 20,000 minute- 
men 30 

deliverance from British control 

a fixed purpose 30 

not a proper British base .... 33 
bombarded three nights.. 74, 77 

Boston, continued 

evacuated 80 

visited by D Estaing 243 

visited by Greene 246 

visited by Lafayette 244 

visited by Rochambeau 361 

ELMO Hal. historian ; b. 1768, 
d. 1837. 
as to Battle of Long Island, 113 

as to Battle of Trenton 149 

reviews New Jersey cam 
paign 159 

BOVILLE, DE Fr. maj.-gen. ; re 
connoitres with Was h i n g - 

ton 336 

BOWDOIN, JAMES pres. Mass. 
Council; b. 1727, d. 1790: 
addressed by Charles Lee. 139 
Braddock s operations noticed .... 7 
Supreme Court; b. 1813, d. 
1892 ; corrects a tradition as 
to Lafayette s alleged remi 
niscence of Washington s pro 
fanity 235 

Brandy wine, Battle of IS."} 

British army, at various dates (Ap 
pendix D) 383 

troops quartered by Britisli Par 
liament in Boston, 1768 ... 14 
estimates for troops, by British 

ministry 96 

foreign auxiliaries opposed by 

Britisli statesmen 96 

four military operations pro 
posed 97 

its movements after Battle of 

Long Island .116 

advances to Horn s Hook (see 

map) 120 

lands at Throgg s Neck (see 

map) 125 

advances beyond New Ro- 

chelle 126 

awaiting ree nf orcements . . . 127 

in New Jersey 139 

invades the Illinois country. 253 

opposed by Gov. Jefferson. 253 

fed by Am. speculators .... 296 

British military policy defined . . .95 

British Parliament urges king to 

arrest Americans, 1769 .... 14 

rejects " Conciliatory Bill," 

1775 18 

restricts New England trade . 18 
favors certain colonies . . . . 18 



Brookline, Mass., furnished fas 
cine rods 78 

Brooklyn, N.Y., occupied by 

Lee 85 

fortified by Greene 102 

evacuated by Washington . .112 
Bull Run, 1861, illustrates Bran- 

dywine (Preface) x 

Bunker Hill or Breed s Hill, signifi 
cance of the battle 34 

BURGOYNE, Sir JOHN lieut-gen. ; 
b. 1730, d. 1792. 

arrives at Boston 33 

describes rebels as peasants .34 
calls battle on Breed s Hill " a 

great catastrophe " 40 

reaches Canada from Ire 
land 89, 171 

issues an unwise proclama 
tion 172 

responded to by Washington, 172 
has no sympathy with " hire of 

Indians " 172 

sharp letter from Gates 173 

his noble response 173 

captures Ticonderoga 175 

his diversion to Bennington an 

error 175-6 

surrenders his army 176 

organization of his army (Ap 
pendix E) 387 

BURKE, EDMUND Br, statesman ; 

I. 1730, d. 1797. 
BURR, AARON col. ; sub. vice- 

pres. ; b. 1756, d. 1836. 
accompanies Arnold to Que 
bec 55 

BUTLER, THOMAS col. ; at storm 
ing of Stony Point 257 

BYRON, JOHN Br. admiral ; b. 

1723, d. 1786. 

relieves admiral, Lord Howe 239 
fleet scattered by a storm . . 239 
arrives off Boston .245 


gen. ; b. 1743, d. 1786. 
guarding the Delaware .... 141 

fails to cross river 142 

crosses Delaware at Bristol. 146 

arrives at Trenton 151 

at Princeton 156 

at Bordentown 156 

CAESAR, JULIUS Roman general ; 

b. 100 B.C., d. 44 B.C. 
his campaigns cited in compari 
son (Preface) viii 

Caesar, Julius, continued 

his methods imitated by Wash 
ington 313 

CALDWELL, JAMES his church 

burned by the British 271 

his wife shot by the British. 279 
furnishes hymn-books for gun- 
wadding at Springfield. . .284 
b. 1745, d. 1781; at Battle of 

King s Mountain 293 

Canada lost to France, 1763 10 

as a British base 30 

invasion urged by Congress. .50 

Arnold its active spirit 51 

Congress again moves 52-3 

difference in religious faith. .52 

two expeditions planned 55 

did not support Burgoyne ... 55 
failure of the expeditions .... 66 
visited by commissioners .... 88 

visited by small-pox 88 

costs five thousand American 

lives in sixty days 88 

British reinforcements come, 89 
abandoned by the American 

army 89 

the excuse of Congress 89 

Canadian Acts of Parliament ... 50 
expeditions of Schuyler and 

Montgomery 52, 55 

expedition again suggested, but 

opposed by Washington, .252 

CARLETON, Sir GUY gov. of 

Canada, sub. gov. New York; 

b. 1724, d. 1808. 

Arnold s report of his small 

force in Canada 51 

flees from Montreal in disguise 

to Quebec 64 

pays military honors to his old 
comrade, Montgomery .... 66 
his magnanimous parole of Am 
erican prisoners of war .... 66 
being largely reenforced in 
June, 1776, takes the offen 
sive 89 

succeeds Clinton in N.Y 362 

cooperates with Washington, 363 

surrenders New York 363 

quartermaster-gen. (South) ; 
b. 1749, d. 1810. 
indorsed by Chief-Justice Mar 
shall 301 

explores the Southern 
rivers.. 302 



Carrington, Edward, continued 
commissioner to exchange pris 
oners 318 

CARROLL, CHARLES last survivor 
of the signers of the Declara 
tion of Independence ; b. 1737, 
d. 1832 ; commissioner to 

Canada 88 

CARROLL, Rev. JOHN sub. Arch 
bishop of Maryland ; visits 
Canada and reports a terrible 

condition of affairs 88 

d. 1796; is hostile to British 
commerce, but favors Amer 
ican interests 296 

Charleston, S.C., captured by Clin 
ton 275 

Charlestown Heights, neglected by 

British 34 

occupied by Americans 34 

occupied by British 35 

abandoned 61 

Charlottesville, Va., a Hessian 
prison-camp, visited by Tarle- 

ton 340 

CHASE, SAMUEL Md. ; b. 1741, 
d. 1811; appointed commis 
sioner to Canada 88 

Marquis DE maj. -general ; 
b. 1734, d. 1789. 
accompanies Rochambeau to 

America 286 

a relative of Lafayette 286 

marches from Newport to Ridge- 
bury, Conn 333 

in conference at Wethers- 
field 333 

commands a division 337 

orator and statesman ; b. 
1756, d. 1835. 

Pittsburg named in his honor, 10 
describes the First Continental 

Congress 17 

his conciliatory bill defeated, 18 
as to making slaves of American 

Englishmen 20 

as to Battle of Guilf ord 320 

Chatterton Hill, battle near White 

Plains i 129 

Chemung, Battle of, noticed. . .260 
Chesapeake Bay memorable in 

naval warfare 354 

" Chimney-corner patriots " disgust 
Washington 328 

China stimulated by American ex 
ample 370 

Civil liberty requires right execu 
tion of military power . . .304 
CLINTON, JAMES brig. -general ; 

b. 1736, d. 1812. 
gallantry at Fort Clinton ... 1 79 

in Indian expedition 260 

CLINTON, GEORGE gov , brig.- 
gen. ; sub. vice-pres.; b. 1736. 
d. 1812. 
commands in the Highlands, 166 

his services noted 178, 190 

CLINTON, Sir HENRY lieut.- 
gen. ; b. 1758, d. 1795. 

arrives in America 3*5 

urges attack upon Cambridge, 35 

overruled by Howe 35 

expects an independent com 
mand 70 

anticipated by Washington . . 70 
visits Tryon in New York. . .85 
ordered to destroy Southern 

cities 85 

in attack upon Fort Sullivan, 

S.C 85 

returns to New York 89 

in battle of Long Island 107 

expects large success 110 

at Newport, R.I 15O 

in expedition up the Hudson, 178 

outgenerals Putnam 178 

captures Forts Clinton and 

Montgomery 179 

did not intend to join Bur- 

goyne 180 

returns to New York 182 

relieves Howe in command, 215 

gives a fete to Howe 215 

attempts capture of Lafay 
ette 216 

fails to capture Lafayette . .217 

his policy outlined 221 

evacuates Philadelphia 222 

moves toward Monmouth, 223-4 

followed by Lafayette 225 

prepares for battle 229 

abandons position at night .234 

regains New York 234 

escapes the French fleet. . . .238 
tries to reenforce Newport. 245 
reports to Lord Germaine. .249 

inactive at New York 252 

captures Stony Point 253 

reoccupies Stony Point, when 

Washington abandoned it, 259 

declines to attack West Point, 2(51 



Clinton, Sir Henry, continued 
abandons Newport and New 

England 262 

sails for Charleston 208 

reports his force 270 

reports as to Provincials. . .272 
expedition suffers from 

storm 274 

captures Charleston 275 

issues absurd proclamation. 275 

reenforced by Rawdon 276 

returns to New York 282 

plans a new expedition .... 283 

invades New Jersey 283 

Battle of Springfield 283-4 

burns Springfield 285 

"needs rest for his army ".285 
plans descent upon Newport, 286 
writes Lord Germaine as to 

West Point 288 

corresponds with Arnold. . .289 
again writes Lord Germaine . 289 
closes bargain with Arnold. 290 
cannot exchange Arnold for 

Andre 291 

watches the American mu 
tiny 309 

advises with Lord Germaine . 309 
sends Arnold to Virginia. ..310 
doubts Arnold s discretion. .310 
sends good officers Avith him, 310 
equally powerless Avith Corn- 

wallis 324 

learns of effort to capture 

Arnold 325 

sends Phillips to support Ar 
nold 326 

orders Arnold to New York, 331 
disturbed by Arnold s corre 
spondence with London offi 
cials 332 

receives Washington s decoy 

letters 335 

" in a state of siege " 335 

other decoy letters reach 

him 336 

orders Cornwallis to report to 

him 337 

calls for reenforcements . . .338 
intercepts other decoy letters 

with plans enclosed 346 

outgeneraled by Washing 
ton 347-8 

writes Cornwallis promising 

help 350 

advises Cornwallis to strike 
Philadelphia 352 

| Clinton, Sir Henry, continued 
does not understand Washing 
ton 352 

hears from Cornwallis 358 

sails for Yorktown too late .358 
contemporaneous surrender of 

Cornwallis 359-60 

is relieved of command in New 

York 361 

succeeded by Sir Guy Carle- 
ton 361 

convoys Clinton and his troops 

up the Hudson 253 

his fleet visits NCAV Haven .256 
relieved by Admiral Arbuth- 

not 261 

Colonial Congress at NCAV York, 

1765 11 

nine Colonies represented ; 

others ratify action 11 

names of Colonies that Avere not 

represented 11 

the Declaration of Rights . . .11 
denounces Stamp Act, Oct. 7, 

1755 13 

Colonial expeditions, 1755 10 

additional, 1758 10 

Colonial governments and their 

forms described 16 

Columbian Exposition, 1892, 

noticed 372-3 

Commissioners sent to Canada.. 88 
General and Admiral Howe 
meet American commission 
ers in New York 98 

arrange terms betAveen CornAval- 

lis and Washington 359 

Committee of Congress visits Bos 
ton 60 

Committee of Correspondence, 

1773, and their purpose . . .15 

Connecticut Farms, N.J., burned 

by General Knyphausen. .279 

Connecticut sends 2,000 men to 

Boston, April 26, 1775 23 

assigns Putnam, Wooster, and 

Spencer to command 23 

sends volunteers to NCAV York 

with Lee 71 

her militia greatly reduced. . 116 
responds to Washington s ap 
peal 116 

tAvice invaded by Tryon, 166, 256 

invaded by Arnold. . 351 

Continental Army organized. . . .32 



Continental Congress adopts militia 
about Boston as the Amer 
ican Continental Army .... 32 
forms Light Infantry corps . . 32 
appoints Washington Com- 

mander-in-Chief 32 

accompanies commission with 

pledge of support 32 

sends committee to Washington 

at Cambridge 52 

disclaims purpose to operate 

against Canada 54 

but initiated and pressed every 

expedition 54 

sends a second committee to 

Cambridge 60 

authorizes a navy 00 

urges attack upon Boston. . .61 

sends committee to N.Y 85 

orders additional troops to Can 
ada 88 

proposes to hire Indian allies, 88 
appoints commissioners to Can- 

-, no 

ada oo 

authorizes abandonment of New 

York 117 

confers large powers upon 

Washington 140 

imparts dictatorial powers . . 148 
makes promotions without con 
sulting Washington 165 

adjourns to Lancaster and to 

York 194 

honors the defenders of Fort 

Mifflin 202 

places enemies of Washington 

in responsible commands, 205 

sends a committee to Valley 

Forge 212 

Continental money worth 3 cents 

on the dollar 252 

CONWAY, THOMAS Irish advent 
urer,; brig. -gen. at Battle of 

Germantown 195 

promoted major-general and in 
spector-general 205 

resigns his commission 207 

responsible for the " Conway 

cabal" 212 

departs for France 212 

sub. lieut-gen. India; b. 1738, 
d. 1805. 

sails for America 97 

lands at Wilmington, N.C. . .97 
accompanies Clinton to Charles 
ton, S.C 97 

Cornwallis, Charles, continued 

returns to New York 99 

in Battle of Long Island . . . 107 
enforces the surrender of Sulli 

van and Stirling 108 

assaults Fort Washington . . 132 

invades New Jersey 136 

halts at Brunswick 137 

on eve of departure for Eng 
land 150 

ordered back to New Jersey, 150 
advances upon Trenton .... 152 
threatens Washington s posi 
tion 154 

strengthens his own position, 154 
outgeneraled by Washing- 

ton 156 

retires to Brunswick 156 

again on the aggressive .... 167 
attempts to gain Washington s 

defences 169 

retires to Staten Island 169 

in skirmish upon invasion of 

Pennsylvania 185 

moves up the Brandywine. . 188 
leads the advance of Howe s 

army 188 

surprises Sullivan s d i v i - 

sion 187-9 

moves to Chester 192 

enters Philadelphia 194 

lands in New Jersey 203 

compels Americans to destroy 

their galleys 203 

threatens Washington at Chest 
nut Hill 204 

skirmishes with Morgan. . . .204 
makes incursion into N e AV 

Jersey . 248 

in command at the South. . .275 
suspends invasion of North Car 
olina .293 

fails to subjugate the people, 293 
sore over Tarleton s defeat at 

Cowpens 315 

presses closely upon Greene, 315 
informs Clinton of his condi 
tion 317 

abandons Charleston 317 

expects no aid from V i r - 

ginia 318 

his proclamation to rebels . .318 
arranges for exchange of pris 
oners 318 

parols militia as prisoners . .318 
seeks to control upper fords, 318 
is outgeneraled by Greene. .319 



Cornwallis, Charles, continued 

in need of all supplies 319 

at Guilford Court-House . . .319 
cannot improve success . . . .320 
practically a defeat, so judged 

by contemporaries 320 

retires to Wilmington, leaving 
his wounded, closely pursued 

by Greene 321 

his position, and that of Clinton, 

noticed 324 | 

reminiscence of earlier cam 
paign 325 

his effective force reduced .329 
arrives at Yorktown from Wil 
mington 333 

sustained by British minis 
try 337 

Clinton wants his troops . . .338 
promises to expel Lafayette 

from Virginia 338 

in pursuit of Lafayette . .338-9 
his course described by Lafay 
ette 339 

abandons the pursuit 339 

is followed by Lafayette . . .340 
returns to headquarters . . . .341 
finds old despatches from Clin 
ton 341 

takes boats for Yorktown . .341 
his movements reported to 

Washington 342 

is warned by Clinton of dan 
ger 350 

relations to Clinton no 
ticed 352-3 

must destroy Lafayette s army 

to hold Virginia 353 

attempts escape by Glouces 
ter 358 

the movement abandoned . .358 
graphic report to Clinton. . .358 
terms of surrender fixed. . .359 

surrender completed 3GO 

courtesies between officers of 

the three armies 3G1 

his interview Avith Lafayette, 3d 
as Br. commissioner to ex 
change prisoners 318 

COUDRAY, Monsieur DE ordered 
to complete defensive works 

along the Delaware 192 

Court-martial of Arnold 274 

Court-martial of Lee (Appendix 

G) 389 

Cowpens, Battle of 312 

COXE, DANIEL urges union of 
Colonies, 1722 12 

Crimean War noticed 313 

tector of England; b. 1599, 
d. 1659. 

cited by Washington s officers 
as a precedent for assuming 
permanent command 364 

Crown Point, expedition against, 

1755 10 

visited by Allen and Arnold. .30 
captured by Seth Warner. . . .51 

CUSTIS, Mrs. MARTHA I. 1732, 
d. 1802; her marriage to 
Washington . . 8 

Danbury, Conn., invaded (with 

Kidgefield) by Tryon 166 


statesman; b. 1748, d. 1791. 
comments upon Lexington and 

Concord 20 

opposed military occupation of 

Boston 33 

advised Howe to attack South 
ern cities 69 

regarded New York as the true 

British base 69 

DAYTON, ELIAS col. ; b. 1735, 

d. -1807. 

his regiment in battle. . . .278-9 
DEANE, SILAS b. 1737, d. 1834. 

on naval committee 60 

commissioner to France. . . .209 

returns to Philadelphia 238 

gen. ; disgraced at Brandy- 
wine 189 

Declaration of Independence, July 

4, 1776 91 

Count Fr. lieut.-general ; 
b. 1729, d. 1794. 
reaches the Delaware with 

French fleet 238 

sails at once for New York, 239 

unable to cross the bar 240 

arrives at Newport, K.I. . . .240 
consults Sullivan as to 

attack 242 

not affronted by Sullivan s land 
ing first 243 

is confronted by British 

fleet 243 

both fleets dispersed 243 

returns to Newport 243 



D Estaing, Charles Hector, Count, 

sails for Boston to refit; notices 

Sullivan s protest 243 

his manly course vindicated, 244 
sails for the West Indies. . .245 

off the coast of Georgia 261 

his siege of Savannah, urged by 

Lafayette 267 

twice wounded 268 

DE FLEURY, Louis Fr. lieuten t, 

sub. col. 
at defence of Fort Mercer. .202 

planned Fort Mifflin 202 

wounded in its defence 203 


Fr.; b. 1723, d. 1788. 
arrives in the Chesapeake . .342 
limited in period of opera 
tions 342 

urges assault upon York- 

town 342 

yields to Lafayette s judg 
ment 343 

is visited by Washington . . .354 
has naval fight with Admiral 

Graves (see map) 355 

suggests a plan of action. . .356 

opposed by Lafayette 356 

sails for the West Indies. . .361 
his trophies at Yorktown 

(Appendix F) 388 

DE HEISTER //. lieut.-gen. ; 
lands at Gravesend, Aug. 25, 

1776 106 

captures Sullivan and Stirling, 
and parts of their c o m - 

mands 108 

advances to support Howe . . 126 
DE KALB, JOHN, Baron maj.- 

gen.; b. 1732, d. 1780. 
comes to America with Lafay- 
ette. Note to Chap. 

XVIII 191 

reports as to the army 205 

appointed inspector-general, 207 
commands Maryland and Dela 
ware troops 277 

Southern campaign 291 

k. in Battle of Camden 292 

Delaware troops always effi 
cient 277 

gallantry at Camden 292 

Denmark and Sweden hostile to 

England 296 

DESTOUCHES, Chevalier succeeds 
De Ternay, deceased 298 

Destouches, Chevalier, confd 

supports Washington 323 

indorsed by Washington ... 826 

DE TERNAY, Chevalier convoys 

Rochambeau s army from 

France 286 

blockaded by British at New 
port 298 

dies at Newport 298 

is succeeded by Destouches, 298 
DICKENSON, JOHN in first Conti 
nental Congress 17 

ginia; b. 1690, d. 1770; sent 
Washington as commissioner 

to French frontier 6 

DONOP If. col. ; in the storming 

of Chatterton Hill .129 

abandons Bordentown 146 

k. in storming Fort Mercer, 201 

is buried by the Americans, 202 

Dorchester Heights occupied by 

the Americans 76-80 

d. 1779; chief-justice, South 

Carolina, 1776 86 


col. ; sub. marshal-de-camp 

and historian ; b. 1753. d. 1837; 

gallantry at Yorktown . . 357 

Note. He was wounded 

in storming redoubt. 
DUNDAS, FRANCIS Br. lieut.-col. ; 
b. 1750, d. 1824; goes to Vir 
ginia with Arnold 310 

Br. gov. Virginia; b. 1732, 
d. 1818. 

seizes colonial powder 28 

opposed by Patrick Henry ... 28 
takes refuge on board the man- 
of-war Foivey 28 

bombards Norfolk, New Year s 

day, 1776 68 

is visited by Gen. Clinton . . .85 
gen. ; d. 1802. 

captured at Charleston 300 

succeeded as engineer by Kos- 

ciusko 300 

reconnoitres w i t h Washing 
ton 336 

visits the Count de Grasse with 
Washington 353 

EFFINGHAM, Lord Br. ; resigns 
when ordered to America . . 21 



Elizabethtown, N.J., visited by 

Knyphausen 227 

Engineering defined, with note 

(Preface) xi 

brig.-gen. ; captured by Am. 

privateer at sea 98, 99 

warns Cornwallis at Trenton, 1 55 
attempts to capture Lafay 
ette 216 

Eutaw Springs the last battle at 

the South 321 

Evacuation of Boston (-fir.) ... .80 

Brooklyn (Am.} 113 

New York (Am.} 127 

Philadelphia (.fir.) 222 

Charleston (Am.} 207 

Yorktown (.fir.) 301 

New York (Br. ) 303 

EWING, JAMES brig. -general ; 
failed to cross at Trenton, 
1776, on Christmas night. 162 

FAIRFAX, BRYAN, Lord b. 1730, 
d. 1802 ; friend of Washing 
ton 5 

Fair field, Conn., raided by Gov 
ernor Tryon 255 

Stony Point 257 

First Continental Congress, at 
Philadelphia, Sept. 5, 

1774 16 

its officers and members no 
ticed 16 

Washington a member 17 

honored by Lord Chatham. ..17 
supports Massachusetts 17 

FLEURY, Louis DE. SeeDe 

FORM AN brig.-gen., at Battle of 
Germantown 195 

Forrest s battery (Am.} at Tren 
ton 145 

Forts Clinton and Montgomery 
captured (see map) 179 

Fort I) u Quesne, became Fort Pitt 
(now Pittsburgh) 10 

Fort Mercer and its gallant de 
fence , 201 

Fort Mifflin, planned by De Fleury 
(Fr.} 202 

France retains certain American 
possessions by Treaty of 

Paris, 1763 11 

makes a formal alliance with 
America.. ..213 

France, continued 

sends an ambassador to Amer 
ica 238 

sends a fleet to America. . . .238 
sends a second fleet to Amer 
ica 201 

sends an army to America. .286 
sends a third fleet and troops to 

America 342 

sends money to America . . .348 
shares in the trophies of York- 
town 388 

Franco-Prussian war cited in com 
parison (Preface) vii 

pher, diplomat, and states- 
. man; 6. 1710, d. 1790. 
urges a union of the Colonies, 

1754 12 

the convention of July 4, 1754, 

the result 12 

reasons for its failure 12 

on passage of Stamp Act, writ 
ing to Charles Thompson . . 13 
Thompson s reply quoted. ... 13 
describes the servile attitude of 

the English people 18 

chairman Penn. Committee of 

Safety 28 

his opinion of fight at Breed s 

Hill 34 

commissioner to Canada 88 

commissioner to meet Gen. 

and Admiral Howe 110 

secures French support . . . .209 
writes as to AVashington s stand 
ing abroad 308 

influence with Holland and 

Spain noticed 309 

secures a loan from Holland, 348 
FREDERICK II. third king of 
Prussia (called "the Great") ; 
son of Frederick William I. ; 
5. 1712, d. 1786; like Wash 
ington in reticence 44 

French army at Newport, R.I., 286 
marches through Connecti 
cut 335 

joins Washington 335 

threatens New York 330 

supports Lafayette 342 

parades in Philadelphia .... 349 
reviewed by the president of 

Congress 349 

in siege of Yorktown 357 

competes with Americans, in 
action . . . . 358 



French fleet off the Delaware, with 

French Ambassador 238 

unable to enter New York. .240 

sails for Newport, B.I 240 

engages fleet of Howe 243 

repairs at Boston 243 

at Savannah, Ga 261 

blockaded at Newport 295 

off the Chesapeake 350 

engages with British fleet. . .354 

leaves America 361 

Frigate La Sensible (Fr.) brings 

French treaty to America, 213 
La Chinier (Fr.) brings French 

minister to America 238 

Frigates built during the war, and 

their fate (Appendix B)T378 

GAGE, THOMAS Br. lieut.-gen. ; 

b. 1721, d. 1787. 
appointed gov. Massachusetts 
and Commander-in-Chief . .16 
his fatal movement upon Con 
cord 20 

succeeded by Howe 58 

GATES, HORATIO maj. -general, 
sub. adj. -general ; b. 1728, 
d. 1806. 

his antecedents 36 

succeeds Sullivan in Can 
ada 88 

the confidant of Charles Lee, 127 
confidential letter from Lee, 127 

another letter from Lee 138 

reports for duty 139 

absent without leave 141 

dodges Battle of Trenton . . 142 
insolent letter to Burgoyne, 173 

its lofty rebuke ". ... 173 

relieves Schuyler, and himself 

relieved 173 

declines command of Ticonder- 

oga 173 

insulting letter to Washing 
ton 173-4 

Washington s reply 174 

appeals to congressmen 174 

on leave of absence 174 

supersedes Schuyler 176 

captures Burgoyne s army. . 176 
congratulated by Washing 
ton 179 

reports direct to Congress . . 179 
president of Board of War, 205 
still corresponds with Lee . .205 

commands at Peekskill 212 

on Council of AVar.. ..217 

Ij Gates, Horatio, continued 

letters to Lee known to Wash 
ington 220 

declines to fight Indians .... 259 
" unequal to the command," 260 
spends winter in Virginia. . .281 
Congress gives him the South 
ern Department 281 

sarcastic letter from Charles 

Lee 281 

in command at the South. . .291 

criticised by Irving 291 

routed at Camden 292 

his disgraceful flight 292 

his abject apology 292 

could have saved the battle, 292 
attempts to gather his army, 293 
the tidings reaches Washing 
ton 295 

is succeeded by Greene .... 300 
turns command over to 

Greene 302 

retires to his farm 302 

GEORGE III. King of Great Brit 
ain, France, and Ireland, De 
fender of the Faith; b. 1738, 
d. 1820. 

does not understand English 
men in America 20 

hears of Burgoyne s sur 
render 208 

unwisely adjourns Parlia 
ment 208 


CONRAD A. ; d. 1790. 
pledges to Franklin and Deane 

French support 209 

first Fr. ambassador to Amer 
ica 238 

SACKVILLE) , Lord Br. Prime 
Minister; b. 1716, d. 1785. 
correspondence with Howe ... 98 

with Clinton 249, 289 

Germantown, Battle of, Chapter 

XIX 192-7 

GIMAT, Fr. col. on Washing 
ton s staff. 

at Monmouth 233 

witness on Lee s trial 233 

at siege of Yorktown 357 

GIST, MORDECAI brig.-gen., sub. 

gov. Del. ; b. 1743, d. 1792. 
skirmishes with Cornwallis .204 
recruits for Greene s army .301 
GLOVER, JOHN col.; sub. brig.- 
gen. ; b. 1732, d. 1797. 



Glover, John, continued 

at Battle of Long Island ... 108 

covers the retreat Ill 

resists British landing at 

Throgg s Neck 125 

at Battle of Trenton 142 

GORDON, Rev. WILLIAM, as to 

Battle of Monmouth 234 

Grand tactics defined, with note 

(Preface) x 

GRANT, JAMES Br. maj.-gen.; 

b. 1720, d. 1806. 
at Battle of Long Island ... 107 
watches Washington from 

Brunswick, N. J 143 

compliments Washington s sa 
gacity 143 

put Hessians off their guard. 143 
U.S.A., sub. pres. twice; b. 
1822, d. 1885. 

his example cited 66 

GRAVES, THOMAS, Baron Br. ad 
miral ; b. about 1725, d. 1802. 
ordered to burn coast towns. 59 
counter- action of Washing 
ton 59 

attempts to capture Lafay 
ette 216 

sails for the Chesapeake . . .355 
misses Count de Barras . . . .355 
engages a superior French 

fleet 355 

returns to New York 355 

GRAY Br. maj.-gen. 

surprises Wayne at Paoli. . . 193 
in attack upon Washington at 

Chestnut Hill 204 

attempts to capture Lafay 
ette 216 

surprises Light Horse, at Tap- 
pan 248 

Great Britain sublimely faces 

world-wide antagonisms . .296 

unjust to her Provincial 

troops 362 

Washington aids Carleton in 

their behalf 363 

GREENE, ASHBEL chaplain at Mon 
mouth; sub. pres. Princeton 
College, N.J. ; b. 1762, d. 
1848 ; as to Washington s in 
terview with Lee at Mon 
mouth 236 

See also Washington s letter 
as to the language used by 
him . . ..391 


b. 1737, d. 1781. 
in Arnold s expedition to Can 
ada 55, 200 

commands Fort Mercer. . . .200 
GREENE, NATHANIEL maj.-gen. ; 

b. 1740, d. 1786. 
commands Rhode Island 

troops 24 

a Quaker youth and black 
smith s apprentice 25 

studied by forge-light, after 

work hours 25 

announces principles essential 

to success 25 

thorough work as member of 

the Kentish Guards 26 

antecedents and studies .... 26 
likened to Grant and Lee .... 26 
outline of his career antici 
pated 39 

his brigade noticed 69 

in charge of Brooklyn 

Heights 87 

completes the defences .... 102 

prostrated by fever 104 

succeeded by Putnam 104 

advises retreat 115 

describes Washington at Kipp s 

Bay 119 

assumes command in New 

Jersey 122 

describes corrupt practices of 

surgeons 123 

joins for duty 127 

prepares for campaign in New 

Jersey 130 

regards Fort Washington as 

defensible 132 

at Battle of Trenton 142 

commands advance posts before 

Trenton 151 

leads the advance, Jan. 2, 

1777 155 

visits Congress 166 

advances to meet Howe .... 168 

his plan vindicated 169 

selects position on the Brandy- 
wine 185 

commands the reserve 186 

with Washington, covers the 

retreat 189 

at Battle of Germantown. . 195 

enters New Jersey 203 

assigns Lafayette to duty . .203 

at Council of War 217 

at Monmouth 230, 233 



Greene, Nathaniel, continued 
at Boston, as quartermaster- 
general 246 

describes the winter, 1780 . .271 
in Battle of Springfield ... .283 
manoeuvres for position . . . .284 
scientific movementsnoticed,285 
succeeds Arnold at West 

Point 291 

submits plan for Southern cam 
paign 300 

succeeds Gates and goes 

South 300 

relieves Gates 302 

his reports and letters 302 

graphic letter to Marion .... 303 
" spies are the eyes of an 

army" 303 

acts as if under the eyes of 

Washington ...303 

initiates his campaign 313 

his army without clothing. .315 
uses blankets, "Indian 

style" 315 

rides 125 miles to see Mor 
gan 315 

joined by Harry Lee 316 

provides for Morgan s prison 
ers 316 

his wise strategic methods . . .317 
expects no aid from Virginia .318 
decides to fight Cornwallis . .318 
battle of Guilford Court- 
House 319 

drives Cornwallis into Wilming 
ton 320 

his report to Washington. . .320 
fights Rawdon, at Hobkirk 

Hill 321 

the casualties stated 321 

fights Stewart, at Eutaw 
Springs, " the final battle at 

the South" 321 

redeems Georgia and the Car- 

olinas 322 

welcomes Lafayette to the 

South 326 

regards capture of Cornwallis 

as settled 327 

his army reenforced by Lafay 
ette s self-denial .... .330 

Greenfield, Conn., raided by 

Tryon 256 

Green Mountain Boys, Vt., regu 
larly organized 51 

resist Carleton s advance from 
Canada.. ...62 

Green Mountain Boys, continued 

decline to reenlist after capture 

of Montreal 63 

Minister ; I. 1712, d. 1770 ; or 
dains a revenue system, 
1764 12 

GRIDLEY, RICHARD col.; ~b. 1711, 

d. 1796. 
Engineer-in-Chief at Bunker 

Hill 23 

resigns, and succeeded by 
Knox 61 

GRIFFITHS Am. col.; skirmishes 
with Donop (//.) 146 

man, journalist, and author; 
b. Boston, Mass., 1822. 

his tribute to Nathan 

Hale 120, 121 

HALE, NATHAN Am. captain; b. 
1755; d. 1776. 

confidential messenger of Wash 
ington 120 

executed as a spy, Sept. 22, 
1776 121 

his memorable last words . . 121 

his career sketched by the Rev. 
E. E. Hale 120-121 

place of his execution identified 

by Lossing 131 

eminent financier; b. 1757, d. 

occupies Chatterton Hill, with 
two guns 128 

is sent to Gates for troops. .204 

w i t h Lafayette at Mon- 
mouth 226 

reports New York Harbor too 
shallow for French fleet. .240 

gallantry at Yorktown 357 

commodore ; arrives with 

troops 261 

HAMPTON, WADE col. ; b. 1754., 
d. 1835; honored by Wash 
ington 312 

HANCOCK, JOHN statesman and 
maj.-gen.; b. 1737, d. 1793. 

pres. Mass. Provincial Con 
gress 17 

advises Washington of Howe s 
movements 183 

at siege of Newport opposes de 
parture of D Estaing 243 



HAND, EDWARD col. ; b. in Ire 
land, 1744, d. 1802. 
in skirmish on Long Island. 104 
falls back to Prospect Hill . . 105 
delays British landing at 

Throgg s Neck 125 

skirmishes with the Hessian 

Yagers 126 

in front of Trenton, 1776-7, 151 
in Sullivan s expedition . . . .200 
becomes adjt.-gen., vice Scam- 

mon, resigned 300 

HANNIBAL Carthaginian prince 
and general; b. 229 B.C., 

d. 183 B.C. (Preface) iv 

Declaration of Independence ; 
b. 1740, d. 1791; visits Bos 
ton on naval affairs 60 


secretary to Washington . . .300 

becomes C.J. of Maryland .300 

HARRISON, THOMAS speaker of 

Virginia House of Burgesses ; 

addressed by Washington. 250 

HASLET col. Delaware reg t ; b. in 

Ireland, d. 1777. 

joins army at Brooklyn 105 

makes a gallant fight 107 

attacks the Queen s Rangers 

successfully 126 

k. at Battle of Princeton. . .154 
officer; b. 1726, d. 1800; gal 
lantry on the Delaware . . 202 
HAZEN, MOSES col., sub. brig.- 
gen. ; b. 1733, d. 1802 ; threat 
ens Staten Island 347 

HEATH, WILLIAM maj. -general ; 
6. 1735, d. 1814. 

appointed brig. -gen 36 

his antecedents 36 

subsequent career outlined . . 39 
describes occupation of Dor 
chester as " never so much 
done in so short a space " . . 77 

ordered to New York 82 

efficient at New York 104 

aids in the retreat 110 

makes a night march 128 

commands in the Highlands . 131 

at Fishkill 135 

advised of Washington s 

plans 141 

ordered to take the offen 
sive 147 

special assignment to duty . . 156 

Heath, AVilliam, continued 

reprimanded for mismanage 
ment 157-8 

ordered to Boston 254 

again in the Highlands 268 

commands camp in New 

Jersey 346 

Hebrew military and civil ante 
cedents (Preface) . . . .viii, ix 
HENRY, PATRICK orator and 
statesman; b. 1736, d. 1799. 

charged with treason 13 

denounces British Stamp Act . 1& 

in first Continental Congress, 17 

Hessian prisoners taken at Saratoga 

remain in America 248 

quartered in Virginia 248 

Hessian soldiers misunderstood, 363- 
HILDRETH, RICHARD historian ;. 

b. 1807, d. 1865. 
criticises Samuel Adams .... 29& 
Mr. Adams position sound in 

principle 299- 

HILLHOUSE, JAMES captain, sub. 
eminent lawyer and senator ; 
b. 1754, d. 1832. 
resists Tryon s invasion of New 

Haven ". 256 

Hobkirk Hill noticed 321 

HOOD, Sir SAMUEL Br. admiral; 
b. 1724, d. 1816. 

arrives in America 354 

looks into Delaware Bay.. 354 

proceeds to New York 354 

reports to Admiral Graves . . 354 


Justice of New Jersey ; b. 

1777, d. 1864 ; misreported as 

to Washington s language at 

Monmouth 235 

HOWE, Lord RICHARD admiral ; 

b. 1725, d. 1799. 
reaches N.Y. July 12, 1776 . .98 
joint commissioner with General 

Howe 98 

refuses to recognize Washing 
ton s military title 99 

does so in order to secure 

Erskine s exchange 99 

returns to New York 245 

sails for Boston 245 

HOWE, Sir WILLIAM lieut.-gen. ; 
b. 1730, d. 1814. 

declares martial law 32 

offers pardon to all but Sam 
uel Adams and John Han 
cock .. . .32 



Howe, Sir William, continued 

established in America 33 

overrules Clinton s advice to at 
tack Cambridge 35 

his martinet discipline 48 

ordered to succeed Gage .... 58 
issues an unwise proclama 
tion 58 

Washington s counter-proclama 
tion , 58 

orders coast towns to be devas 
tated 59 

instructed by Lord Dart 
mouth 69 

" New York is the proper Brit 
ish base " 70 

overruled by Gage ... 70 

Dorchester Heights seized. . .77 
his report to Lord Dartmouth . 77 
fails to recapture the Heights .80 

evacuates Boston. . v 80 

embarks for Halifax 80 

sails from Halifax for New 

York 97 

lands troops on Staten Isl 
and 98 

confers with Governor Tryon, 98 
writes Lord Germaine as to 

plans 98 

addresses George Washington, 

Esq 98 

changes the address to secure 

a militar}^ exchange 99 

" dispensing pardon to repent 
ant sinners," as Washington 

styles Howe s mission 99 

brilliant landing of his army, 106 

the battle outlined 107-9 

negotiations Avith American 

commissioners 108 

advance of his army 117 

makes enormous requisitions for 

troops 118 

movements anticipated byAVash- 

ington 120 

writes Lord Germaine as to a 

long campaign 124 

will not attack Harlem 

Heights 125 

lands at Throgg s Neck 126 

orders storming of Chatterton 

Hill 126 

awaits reinforcements 126 

outgeneraled by Washing- 

ton 129 

crosses to the Hudson 129 

anticipated by Washington . . 130 

Howe, Sir William, continued 

tries to deter American enlist 
ments 130 

guarantees " liberties and prop 
erties " 130 

captures Eort Washington. . 132 

knew of Adjutant Dumont s 
treason 133 

excuse for not following Wash 
ington 133 

specific instructions given . 133 

sends Cornwallis into New Jer 
sey 137 

"weather too severe for field 
service " 137 

returns to New York 139 

winter quarters specified. . .139 

surprised by neAvs from Tren 
ton 150 

calls for 20, 000 more troops, 150 

hurries Cornwallis to New Jer 
sey 150 

withdraws troops from New 
port 163 

plans anticipated by Washing 
ton " 165 

marches again into New Jersey, 
with 17,000 men 167 

details of the campaign, 168-170 

will invade Pennsylvania. . . 177 

writes a decoy letter, which 
Washington detects 177 

no doubts of Burgoyne s suc 
cess 181 

sails for the Chesapeake, 182-183 

skirmishes with American ad 
vance 185 

masterly strategy in the Battle 
of Brandywine 187-190 

cares for the wounded of both 
armies 192 

his rear threatened by Washing 
ton 194 

his headquarters at German- 
town 195 

repels Washington s attack, but 
does not attack in turn . . . 195 

after battle returns to Phila 
delphia 196 

threatens American army at 
Chestnut Hill 204 

explains <the failure of iris 
movement 204 

succeeded in command by Clin 
ton 215 

his army in detail (Appendix 
D-2) 384 



Huntington, L.I., raided by Try- 
on s expedition .... 256 

Hyde Park, Mass., where fascine 
rods were made available. .78 

Independence, National, proclaim 
ed at Philadelphia, July 4, 

177G 91 

Independence proclaimed at Char 
lotte, N.C., May 20, 1774 .29 
Indian atrocities during the Revolu 
tion 249 

summarily avenged. . . .252, 260 
Indian auxiliaries advocated by 

Great Britain 172 

advocated by Congress 88 

denounced by Burgoyne . 172-3 

ridiculed by Schuyler 88 

historian, scholar; b. 1783, 
d. 1859. 

his personal aid acknowledged 

by the author (Preface) . .xiv 

his sketcli of Washington s 

youth 1 

his tribute to Mary Washington, 5 

Japan honors the example and 

teachings of Washington. 370 

JAY, JOHN statesman and jurist; 

b. 1745, d. 1829. 
in first Continental Congress, 17 
suggests to burn New York. 108 
commissioner to France. . . .309 

his services recognized 309 

JEFFERSON* THOMAS patriot and 
statesman, governor Va., sub. 
pres. twice ; b, 1743, d. July 4, 

sees basis for a constitution in 
government of Iroquois In 
dian Confederacy 12 

protects the western frontier, 253 

advised by Washington 300 

defies Arnold s threats 311 

narrowly escapes capture by 

Tarleton 340 

is vindicated by Lafayette . . 343 

JOMINI, HENRI, Baron DE gen. ; 

chief of staff to Napoleon ; 

aide-de-camp Emperor of 

Kussia; military writer; b. 

1799, d. 1869. 

gives grounds of Napoleon s 

success (Preface) xiii 

as applied to Washington. ... 44 
as to retreats . . . . 73 

JONES, JOHN PAUL lieut., cap 
tain in the navy, sub. admiral 
in the Russian navy; b. 1747, 
d. 1792. 

appointed in the navy 59 

history of his name 379 

his naval success 379 

JOSHUA the Hebrew captain, an 

antetype of Washington upon 

completion of his mission. 373 

Jubilee, Am., at Valley Forge, 213 

French alliance honored . . .213 

Br. at Philadelphia 215 

General Howe honored . . . .215 
noted participants 215 

KENT, JAMES chief justice, 
jurist, and author, N.Y. ; 
b. 1763, d. 1847; his opinion 

of General Schuyler 37 

Kentish Guards, R.I., identified 

with Greene 26 

their prompt start for Boston, 27 
their subsequent promotions in 

the service 26 

KEPPLE, AUGUSTUS Br. admiral ; 
6. 1725, d. 1786; gives an 

opinion of the war 21 

King s Mountain, Battle of, men 
tioned 293 

Kingston, N.Y., burned by Gen. 

Vaughn 179 

KNOWLTON, THOMAS capt.. sub. 
col.; b. 1740, d. 1776. 

at Bunker Hill 122 

k. at Harlem Heights 122 

KNOX, HENRY chief of artillery, 
sub. maj.-gen.; sub. Sec. of 
War; b. 1750, d. 1806. 
succeeds Gridley, resigned.. 61 
efficient in ordnance depart 
ment 71 

mounts Ticonderoga cannon at 

Cambridge 71 

reports his artillery force . . 102 
efficient at Trenton with For 
rest s battery 145 

recruits artillery in Mass. . . 163 
establishes gun factory at 

Springfield 163 

visits Count de Grasse, with 

Washington 353 

VON If. lieut. -general ; b. 
1730, d. 1789. 

arrives in America and joins 
Howe . . . . 126 



Knyphausen, Wilhelm, Baron von, 


in attack upon Fort Washing 
ton 132 

at Brandy wine 186-7 

conducts Clinton s baggage 
train from Philadelphia . . 224 

pushes for Monmouth 224 

reaches New York 229 

invades New Jersey 271 

in Battle of Springfield 279 

acts the part of Pharaoh, in 
stead of that of Moses . . .280 


maj. -general; b. 1750, d. 1817. 
perfects fortifications at West 

Point 212 

appointed chief engineer, vice 

Du Portail, captured 300 

ordered to the South 302 

his efficiency 302 

his antecedents 305 

locates earthworks 317 

Marquis DE maj. -general ; 
b. 1757, d. 1835. 

arrives in America 191 

reaches Philadelphia 191 

joins Washington, in coun 
cil 191 

his first scout 185 

commands a division 203 

visits Albany as to Canadian 

movement 211 

rejoins Washington 212 

concurs with his chief 213 

skilful at Barren Hill 215 

amusing incident of the bat 
tle 216 

outmanoeuvres Clinton 216 

attends a Council of War, 217 

pursues Clinton 225 

reports progress 226 

his relations to Lee 228 

skirmishes with Queen s Rang 
ers 229 

protests against retreat 229 

commands second line at Mon 
mouth 231 

conduct during the battle . . .235 
alleged statement as to Wash 
ington at Monmouth dis 
proved 235 

a letter to his wife . . . . 236 

Lafayette, continued 

on duty at Newport 241 

corresponds with D Estaing, 244 
makes quick trip to Boston, 244 
covers retreat to Newport . .245 

occupies Bristol 245 

sails for France 253 

returns to America 276 

joins Washington 276 

reports to Congress 276 

his proclamation as to Can 
ada 288 

his sympathy with Mrs. Ar 
nold ." 291 

his estimate of Washington, 305 
extols the American army. .306 
intrusted with arrest of Ar 
nold 312, 323 

starts on his expedition .... 324 
an interesting reminiscence, 325 

letters to his wif e 325 

wounded at Brandy wine. . . .325 

his active movements 325 

orders from Washington . . . 326 
has confidence of Greene . . .327 
how he treated deserters . . .327 

harasses the enemy 329 

his letter to Washington 330 

headquarters established! . . .331 
ignores Arnold s letters . . . .331 
complimented by Washing 
ton " 332 

marches to meet Wayne .... 338 

reports his movements 339 

takes the offensive 339 

joined by Wayne and unites 

Avith Steuben 340 

intercepts Tarleton s corre 
spondence 340 

in sharp action at Williams- 
burg 341 

gallantry noticed 341 

writes Washington in full. .342 
reports landing of French 

troops 342 

declines grave risks 342 

outgenerals Cornwallis 343 

ready for Washington s ar 
rival 343 

has Cornwallis inclosed . . . .343 
complains of "rusty 

wheels " 343 

vindicates Gov. Jefferson ..343 

confident of victory 343 

receives special orders from 
Washington not to let Corn 
wallis escape 345 



Lafayette, continued 

sends despatches to Washing 
ton 349 

his twenty-fourth birthday, and 

incidents 350 

writes to his wife as to his 
" thrilling adventures " and 

" enviable lot " 350 

welcomes Washington at his 

headquarters 351 

hastens Washington s a r ra y 

from Baltimore 353 

relations to the French court, 356 
overrules plans of De 

Grasse 356 

storms a redoubt 357 

pleasantry with Baron Vio- 

menil 358 

relations to Cornwallis 361 

their mutual appreciation . . 362 
expedition to Charleston aban 
doned 362 

sails from Boston for 

France 362 

bids farewell to Washington, 362 
LAURENS, HENRY statesman; b. 

1724; d. 1792. 

vice-president of South Caro 
lina* 86 

reports New York Harbor too 
shallow for French fleet. .240 
in the siege of Savannah . . .268 
sent commissioner to Hol 
land 296 

taken prisoner in London . .296 
in London Tower for high trea 
son 296 

sent on special mission to 

France 296 

arrives in Paris 309 

speaks plain words at Paris, 309 
returns to America with funds 
and pledges of French sup 
port 348 

TANT, Duke DE b. 1747, 
d. 1793. 

with Rochambeau 333 

threatens Morrisania 334 

in concert with General Lin 
coln 335 

his lancers in action 337 

tendered a banquet at Philadel 
phia 350 

despatches from Lafayette 

read 350 

at Yorktown . . . .357 

LEDYARD, WILLIAM col. ; b. 1750, 
d. 1781 ; massacred at Fort 

Griswold 351 

LEE, CHARLES retired Br. 
officer, maj. -general; b. 1731, 
d. 1782. 

first noticed 36 

his characteristics 37 

how regarded by Washing- 

ton 45 

distrusts American troops. . .56 
opposes Washington s plans, 56 

is sent to Connecticut 70 

advises occupation of New 

York 70 

writes about " crushing s e r - 

pents " 70 

ordered to New York 71 

fortifies Brooklyn Heights . . 85 
arrogates authority, and is repri 
manded 85 

ordered to South Carolina. . .85 
his conduct at Charleston . . .86 

returns north for duty 127 

abuses Congress 127 

curious letter to Gates 127 

finally joins Washington. . .128 
in charge of reserve camp. .131 
his grand division noticed . . 135 
withholds troops required by 

Washington 135 

finally enters New Jersey . . 137 

is taken prisoner 137 

writes Gates, insulting Wash 
ington 138 

writes Heath, insulting Wash 
ington 138 

writes James Bowdoin as to 

Washington 139 

mistakes the man addressed, 

his capture noticed by Wash 
ington 139 

effect of his independent 

action 141 

his risks as prisoner of war, 164 
Washington s firmness in the 

matter 164 

unsoldierly conduct 174 

placed on parol 217 

reports for duty 217 

compared with Arnold 218 

letters to Congress 218 

letters to Washington 218 

Washington s stinging reply, 218 

conferences with HOAVC brought 

to lisrht in 1872. . . ,219 



Lee, Charles, continued 

joins army at Valley Forge, 220 
opposes Washington s plans, 225 

his theory noticed 225 

relations to Lafayette 227 

declines a special command, 227 
his contemptuous reference to 

Washington s plans 227 

begs for it, afterwards 227 

writes Lafayette, in grbat dis 
tress 228 

pretends to be satisfied 228 

commands the advance 

troops 228 

orders retreat against Lafay 
ette s protest 229 

never handled a command be 
fore 230 

never under fire during the 

war 230 

is rebuked by Washington. .232 

the incident described 232 

his conduct during the day, 233 
his trial, suspension, and 

death 234 

vindication of Washington from 
traditions as to language upon 

meeting Lee 235 

Notes of Lee s Court-martial 

(Appendix G) 389-392 

LEE, HENRY colonel, sub. brig.- 

gen. ; b. 1756, d. 1818. 
at storming of Stony Point, 257 

captures Paulus Hook 259 

joins General Greene 303 

opinion as to Battle of Guil- 

ford 319 

man ; b. 1732, d. 1794. 
in first Continental Congress, 17 
in March, 1775, urges Virginia 

to arm 26 

confederate general, 1861-5 ; 
b. 1810, d. 1870; shared pe 
culiarities of Washington and 

Grant 44 

LEE, THOMAS S. gov. Md. ; ad 
dressed by Washington. . .300 

general ; b. 1740, d. 1794. 
commands the assault at Chat- 

terton Hill 129 

joins Cornwallis 298 

fortifies Norfolk 301 

at battle of Guilford 320 

in the Virginia campaign. . .331 

LINCOLN, BENJAMIN maj.-gen. ; 

b. 1733, d. 1810. 
joins the army with Mass. 

troops 122 

reaches Peekskill, with four 
thousand New England mil 
itia 157 

threatens Fort Independ- 

ence 157 

at Charleston, S.C 253 

has a fresh command .... 334-5 

commands a division 337 

receives sword of Cornwallis at 

Yorktown 360 

b. 1757, d. 1823 ; saves Fort 

Edward 295 

Declaration of Independence ; 
b. 1716, d. 1778; in first Con 
tinental Congress 17 

Logistics defined, with note (Pref 
ace) x, xi 

LOSSING, BENSON J. historian, 
b. 1813, d. 1891; gratefully 
noticed by the author (Pref 
ace) xiv 

Louis XVI. king of France ; 

b. 1754, d. 1793. 
officially supports America. .213 

his purpose anti-British 302 

opposed occupation of New 

York 352-3 

LYNCH, THOMAS patriot; b. 1720, 

d. 1776. 

in first Continental Congress, 17 
at Cambridge . 60 

MAGAW col. ; at Fort Washing 
ton 130-2 

betrayed by his adjutant . . .133 

casualties of the assault . . .133 

MANLY, JOHN Am. captain ; 

makes valuable captures at 

sea 60 

France; b. 1755, d. 1793; 
friend of Lafayette and of 

America 356 

MARION, FRANCIS brig. -general; 
b. 1732, d. 1795. 

addressed by Greene 303 

esteemed by Washington. . .312 
Duke of gen.,si^6. field mar 
shal ; 6. 1650, d. 1722; cited 
in comparison (Preface) . . viii 



MARSHALL, JOHN chief justice 
U.S., jurist and historian; 
b. 1755, d. 1836. 
as to Asst. Quartermaster-Gen 
eral Carrington 301 

as to American mutiny 307 

as to troops sent South 327 

Maryland troops always effi 
cient 277 

gallantry at Camden 292 

at Battle of Guilford 320 

Massachusetts leads resistance to 

Stamp Act 13 

resolves its Assembly into a 

Provincial Congress 17 

elects John Hancock as its first 

president 17 

organizes a force of " Minute 

Men " 17 

organizes a C o m m i 1 1 e e of 

Safety 17 

summons 30,000 men to instant 

duty 22 

drafts one-fifth of her able- 
bodied men 11G 

orders a monument to Cheva 
lier de Saint Sauveur. . . .247 
liberal to troops during a mu 
tiny 308 

MATTHEWS Br. maj.-gen. in at 
tack upon Fort Washing 
ton 132 

lays waste Portsmouth and Nor- 

folk 253 

in Battle of Springfield . . . .278 
MATTHEWS, JOHN jurist; b. 1774, 
d. 1802; on special War Com 
mittee 73 

MAXWELL, WILLIAM brig.-gen. ; 

b. in Ireland, d. 1798. 
in command at Morristown.141 

on special duty 147 

stationed at Elizabethtown . . 164 

moves against Howe 168 

at Red Clay Creek 185 

accompanied by Lafayette. . 185 
gallantry at Chadd s Ford. .186 

active in New Jersey 222 

obstructs Clinton s retreat. .224 

in Battle of Springfield 279 

associated with Lafayette . . . 324 


maj.-gen. U.S.A.; b. 1826, 

d. 1885 ; his qualities cited in 

comparison 162 

McCREA, JANE her murder not 
chargeable to Burgoyne. . 173 

gen. ; b. 1750, d. 1786. 
occupies Chatterton Hill .... 128 
fights the battle known as 

" White Plains " 129 

on special duty at Morris- 
town ". 147 

succeeds Heath at Peekskill, 


in Battle of Germantown. . .195 

established at Peekskill 206 

accompanies Kosciusko to West 

Point 212 

again in the Highlands 248 

b. 1743, d. 1815; at King s 
Mountain, his descendants 

honored 293 

Mecklenburg Declaration of In 
dependence 29 

County, North Carolina, emi 
nently patriotic 293 

MEIGS Am. col. ; attacks Sag 

Harbor 167 

at storming of Stony 

Point 257 

MERCER, HUGH brig. -general ; 
6. 1721, Ar. at Battle of Prince 
ton, 1777 154 

MIFFLIN, THOMAS brig. -general ; 
b. 1744, d. 1800. 

efficient before Boston 72 

provides barracks in New 

York 83 

in battle of Long Island 106 

skilful in the retreat, acting 
under confidential orders, of 

Washington 110 

absence from Valley Forge 

disastrous 206 

rejoins camp 217 

criticised by Washington in let 
ter to Gouverneur Morris, 217 
Milton, Mass., where Rufus Put 
nam found fascine rods . . .78 
MINNIGERODE 77. col. ; k. in at 
tack upon Fort Mercer. . .201 
MONCKTON, HENRY Br. lieut.- 
col. ; b. 1740, k. 1778, atMon- 

mouth 233 

Monmouth, Battle of, described 

(see map) 229-237 

MONROE, JAMES lieutenant, sub. 
pres. ; b. 1758, d. 1831. 

at battle of Trenton 142 

helps capture two guns 145 

wounded in battle . . . . 145 




brig.-gen. ; b. 1737, k. before 
Quebec, 1775. 

bis military antecedents 36 

subsequent career outlined . .38 
a comrade of Carleton when 

Wolfe fell 38 

in despair at condition of the 

troops 38 

starts for Canada 55 

reaches Ticonderoga 61 

receives imperative orders from 

Washington 61 

sympathetically sustained by 

Washington 63 

bis Orderly Book 63 

occupies Montreal 63 

tries a forlorn hope assault upon 

Quebec 63 

goes to Arnold s relief 65 

is killed in battle 65 

buried with honors of war. . .66 
Montreal captured by British, 

1760 " 10 

captured by Montgomery, 

1775 63 


His. Soc. ; brings to light 

Charles Lee s papers. .. .219 

MORGAN, DANIEL brig. -general ; 

b. 1737, d. 1802. 

captured at Quebec 65 

attacks Hessians in New Jer 
sey 169 

skirmishes with Cornwallis.204 
supports Maxwell in N.J...225 

serves under Lafayette 225 

reports to Gen, Greene . . . .303 
fights Battle of Cowpens. . .314 

is visited by Greene 315 

retires from the army 315 

b. 1752, d. 1816; his letter 
from Washington, 1778.. 217 
MORRIS, ROBERT financier and 
statesman; b. 1734, d. 1806; 
friend of Washington. . . . 164 
Morristown headquarters de 
scribed 265 

MOSES Hebrew deliverer of his 
people ; model legislator ; 
founder of modern civil codes ; 
b. about 1570 B.C., d. about 
1450 B.C. 

the Hebrew Commonwealth 
and its military system no 
ticed (Preface) viii 

Moses, continued 

his decimal army organization 
(Preface) viii 

his sanitary and police regula 
tions (Preface) viii 

patriotic instruction of Hebrew 
youth imperative by his laws 
(Preface) viii 

his general order, " Forward," 
when he led his people to 
national independence , 
quoted, as Washington 
marched through Philadelphia 

for Brandywine 184 

b. 1746, d. 1807. 

at Battle of Brandywine (see 
map) 186 

active in Virginia 301 

MURPHY maj. ; leads N.C. troops 

at Stony Point 257 

MURRAY, LINDLEY grammarian ; 
b. 1745, d. 1826; friend of 

Greene 25 

Mutiny of Connecticut troops. .277 

of Pennsylvania troops ..306-7 

a natural outbreak 308 

NAPOLEON I. Bonaparte (Buon 
aparte), Emperor of France ; 
b. 1769, d. 1821. 
his military maxims noticed 

(Preface) viii 

his Italian campaign compared 
with the First New Jersey 
campaign in the Am. Revo 
lution (Preface) xiii 

the basis of his success given by 

Jomini (Preface) xiii 

NASH, ABNER gov. N.C. ; b. 1716, 
d. 1786; addressed by Wash 
ington 300 

NASH, FRANCIS brig. -general ; 
b. 1720, k. at Battle of Ger- 

mantown, 1777 195-6 

New England discriminated against 

by Great Britain 18 

experience in earlier wars. . .21 

her governors in conference 

with committee of C o n - 

gress 60 

finally relieved from British 

hostilities 262 

New Hampshire liberality during 

the American mutiny .... 308 

New Haven, Conn., invaded by 

Tryon 256 



New Jersey seizes the Provincial 
treasury and raises troops, 28 

the chief battleground 161 

more than meets her quota, 272 

her noble women 272, 285 

a continuous battlefield and the 

strategic center 285 

Newport, R.I. ; Howe s strategic 

objective, 1776 118 

occupied by the British .... 150 
besieged by Franco-American 

forces../. 241 

abandoned by the British. . 262 

occupied by Rochambeau , .286 

New York city as a British base. 94 

New York Committee of Vublic 

Safety aroused 27 

its assembly becomes a Provin 
cial Congress 27 

Nook s Hill fortified, March 10, 

1775 60 

evacuation of city a neces 
sity 60 

Norfolk. Va., laid waste by Mat 
thews..., 253 

North Carolina " will resist Stamp 

Act to the death" 13 

defies its Provincial governor, 28 
adopts the cause of Boston . . 28 
a convention meets at Charlotte, 

May 20, 1775 29 

the Mecklenburg Declaration of 

Independence 29 

sends Gen. Moore with two 

battalions to New York . . 115 

two companies in storming of 

Stony Point 257 


Guilford; b. 1733, d. 1792. 
British Prime Minister, 1769, 15 
abolishes all duties except on 

tea 15 

the consequences noted 15 

Norwalk, Conn., raided by 
Tryon 256 

OGDEN Am. col. ; as to panic at 
Monmouth 231 

O HARA, CHARLES Br. maj.-gen. ; 

b. 1756, d. 1791. 
makes the surrender of army 
of Cornwallis 360 

Onondaga Indians near Syracuse, 
N.Y., punished ." 252 

" On to Philadelphia," like the " On 
to Richmond" of 1861, ill- 
judged 198 

Panic at Brooklyn controlled by 

Washington 112 

at Kipp s Bay, noticed, 119, 237 

at Toulon, compared 120 

at Princeton, controlled by 

Washington 154 

at Monmouth, turned by Wash 
ington into victory 231 

at Camden 292 

Paoli, birthplace of Wayne, vis 
ited by British 193 

Paris, Treaty of, 1763, and its 

terms 11 

PARKER, Sir PETER Br. admiral ; 
b. 1716, d. 1811. 

sails from Ireland 97 

repulsed by Moultrie 97 

joins Howe in New York. . . .99 
Parliament of Nations, 1892, no 
ticed 372 

PARSONS, SAMUEL H. brig. -gen. ; 

b. 1737, d. 1789. 
his brigade at Kipp s Bay. . .119 
were trusted by Washing 
ton ". 119 

redeemed their good name ..119 
a parallel case cited under Na 
poleon 120 

before Fort Independence. . 157 
on duty in Connecticut. ... .163 

joins Washington 168 

in the Highlands .... 1 79 

b. 1741, d. 1823; on special 

War Commission 273 

PENN, WILLIAM b. 1644, d. 1718 ; 
urged a Colonial Union, 1697, 12 
and speaker U.S. House; 
b. 1717, d. 1791; as to Wash 
ington s language at Mon 
mouth, on meeting Lee. ..236 
Pennsylvania appropriates money 

for troops 28 

her Assembly corresponds with 

Washington 207 

Penobscot, Me., a British post. .270 
PERCY, HUGH, Earl Br. lieut.- 
gen., Duke of Northumber 
land; 6. 1742, d. 1817. 
his soldierly qualities noticed, 35 
fails to recapture Dorchester 

Heights 80 

at Battle of Long Island (see 

map) 105 

joins Howe before White 
Plains 128 



Percy, Hugh, continued 

in the attack upon Fort Wash 
ington 132 

Philadelphia takes action, April 24, 

1775 28 

her citizens overawe the oppos 
ing element 28 

visited by Washington s 

army 183, 192 

mighty ovation to the sol 
diers 184 

supplies the suffering army. 194 

is occupied by Howe 196 

its winter experiences, 1778,210 
the Howe carnival and its mag 
nificence 215 

evacuated by Clinton. . .221-222 

occupied by Arnold 222 

visited by Washington and Ro- 

chambeau 3489 

gen.; 6, 1731, d. 1781. 

sent to Virginia 320 

destroys much property .... 329 

his relations to Arnold 331 

his death and its effects 331 

PIGOT, Sir ROBERT maj.-gen. ; 
4. 1720, d. 1790; at Newport, 

R.I 241 

POMEROY, SETII brig. -general ; 

b. 1706, d. 1777. 
his military antecedents ... .,24 

appointed brig. -gen 36 

declines further service 38 

Portsmouth, Va., laid waste by 

Matthews 253 

Mass.; b. 1722, d. 1805; his 

prediction 368 

general; b. 1725, d. 1788; 
taken prisoner, and exchanged 

for Lee 217 

at Savannah 267 


b. 1726, d. 1795. 
conducts the Bunker Hill 

(Breed s Hill) fight 34 

Governor s Island, N.Y 102 

safely removes all stores ... 112 
repels Howe s advance at 

Throgg s Neck 125 

maj.-gen.; b. 1725, d. 1786; 
outgenerals Lincoln but with 
out substantial results on 
either hand . . . . 253 

of artillery ; b. in Ireland, 
1739, d. 1806. 
with battery at Chadd s Ford 

Brandy wine 186 

in Indian expedition 260 

maj.-gen.; b. 1747, k. 1779, 
in siege of Savannah .... 268 

dear to Washington 305 

PUTNAM, ISRAEL maj. -general ; 
b. 1718, d. 1790. 

his military antecedents 23 

conspicuous at Bunker Hill. .38 
subsequent career outlined . .38 

commands at New York 87 

succeeds Sullivan at Brook 
lyn 104 

instructed by Washington, 104-5 
succeeded by Washington in 

person 107 

fortifies Hudson River shore, 115 
favors retreat from New 

York 115 

his laconic utterance 115 

commands New York city . . 115 
a division at White Plains . . 129 

at Philadelphia 153 

located at Peekskill 178 

grants unwise furloughs ... 178 
outgeneraled by Clinton. . . . 179 

regains position 180 

on the Long Island shore. . .206 

returns to Peekskill 206 

at Danbury, Conn, 248 

in command on the Hudson, 254 

PUTNAM, RUFUS col.; b. 1738, 

d. 1824 ; his efficiency as civil 

engineer at Boston 75 

Quebec, captured in 1759 10 

assaulted by Montgomery and 

Arnold, 1776 66 

magnanimity of General Carle- 
ton at death of Montgomery, 66 
Queen s Rangers (Provincial), no 
ticed 204, 255, 279 

Washington s magnanimity tow 
ard them, reciprocating 
Carleton s action at Que 
bec 363 

H. col. ; b. 1720, d. 1776. 

storms Chatterton Hill 129 

commands at Trenton 139 

k. in battle . . . . 146 



quis of Hastings, earl, sub. 

gov.-gen. India; b. 1754, d. 


gallantry at Bunker Hill ... .35 
reenforces Clinton at the 

South 276 

in battle of Hobkirk Hill. . .321 
REED, JOSEPH adjt. -general, sub. 

gov. Penn. ; b. 1741, d. 1785. 
in Washington s confidence be 
fore Boston 71 

describes the army at Harlem 

Heights 123 

in the secret of Washington s 

attack upon Trenton 141 

Religious distinctions among the 

colonies harmonized 266 

Rhode Island sends 1,500 men to 

Boston, April 25, 1775 22 

her troops under Nathaniel 

Greene 25 

seizes British stores 27 

calls for protection of her 

ports 87 

two regiments in Continental 

pay 87 

sends additional troops to New 

York 115 


Br. Sec. of State; b. 1735, 

d. 1806. 
denounces hire of Hessian 

troops 96 

his prediction verified 209 

Ridgefield, Conn., invaded by 

Tryon 166 


Baron //. maj. -general ; 

b. 1730, d. 1800. 
reaches Canada with troops . .89 
in Burgoyne s command. . . .387 

King s College, N.S. ; his 

history of Canada cited. . .63 


marshal; b. 1725, d. 1807. 

arrives in America 286 

appreciates Washington .... 287 
writes as to American condi 
tions 287 

confers with Washington at 

Hartford 297 

sends his son to France . . . .298 
again in conference at Wethers- 
field . ..333 

Rochambeau, continued 

asks cooperation of Count de 

Grasse 333 

at West Point with Washing- 

ton 347 

moves southward 347 

advances $20,000 in gold to 

American army 347 

parades in Philadelphia .... 349 
receives despatches from Wash 
ington 350 

entertained at Baltimore . . .351 
guest of Washington at Mt. 

Vernon 351 

opposed occupation of New 

York 353 

visits Count de Grasse with 

Washington 353 

signs articles of Cornwallis 

surrender 360 

honored by Congress 361 

remains with Washington . .361 

visits New England 361 

sails for the West Indies . . .361 
Rowan county, N.C., eminently 

patriotic 293 

RUTLEDGE, EDWARD statesman, 
signer of Declaration of In 
dependence ; b. 1749, d. 1800; 
commissioner with Adams and 
Franklin to meet Gen. and 

Admiral Howe, 1776 118 

RUTLEDGE, JOHN sub. gov. and 
chief justice, S.C. ; b. 1739, 
d. 1800. 

pres. Republic of South Caro 
lina 86 

controls the conduct of Charles 

Lee 86 

his characteristics 86 

aids in siege of Savannah . .267 

maj. -gen; b. 1734, d. 1818. 

at Battle of Princeton 154 

writes a boastful letter 175 

abandons Ticonderoga 175 

Saint (St.) John, N.B., founded 
by British Provincials . . .363 

May 17th its natal day 363 

honors Washington 363 

Saint (St.) John s, captured Nov. 

3, 1775 62 

Andre among the prisoners . .62 


col. ; b. 1737, d. 1789 ; invades 

the Mohawk valley 171 



b. 1712, d. 1784. 

as to hiring Indians 173 

is rebuked by Burgoyne .... 173 
Fr. artist; b. 1770, d. 1852; 
his profile of Washington, by 
a crayon process of his own, 
the last portrait of Washing 
ton taken frontispiece 

SAINT (ST.) SAUVEUR, Chevalier 
DE Fr. : k. at Boston . .247 
a monument to his memory or 
dered 247 

Cov.nt DE Fr.; b. 1760, 
d. 1825. 

arrives with De Grasse 342 

lands 3,000 French troops. .342 
reports to Lafayette for duty, 342 
waves seniority of rank .... 343 
urges immediate assault .... 343 
yields to Lafayette s judg 
ment 343 

sails for the West Indies. . .362 
Salem, Mass., declines benefits of 

Boston Port Bill 16 

Savannah, Ga., responds to call 

from Lexington 29 

intercepts royal letters to gov 
ernors 30 

Committee of Safety, acts 

promptly 30 

besieged without success. 267-8 
SCIIOVALHOFF, Count Russian 
statesman ; his prediction at 
the Berlin Conference veri 
fied in 1898 370 

SCHUYLER, PHILIP maj. -general ; 
sub. U.S. senator; b. 1733, 
d. 1804. 

appointed maj. -gen 36 

his antecedents 36 

his career outlined 37 

honored by Kent and Web 
ster 37-8 

ordered to Canada 55 

among the Six Nations 61 

urged forward by Washing 
ton and joins Montgomery, 61 
advised as to Allen s misadvent- 

suspends resignation at Wash 
ington s request 63 

his Orderly Book 63 

again advised by Washington, 64 

Schuyler, Philip, continued 
is to expect a bloody summer, 87 

ridicules hiring Indians 88 

to resist Carleton s advance. 163 

is relieved by Gates 173 

is promptly restored 173 

offers Gates a command. . . . 173 
it is sneeringly declined. . . . 173 

his energetic action. 174 

is absent, sick, without fault, 175 
has a prophetic letter from 

Washington 175 

organizes a large army 176 

is superseded by Gates 176 

returns to Congress 273 

on committee to visit Washing 
ton 273 

is urged to be Secretary of 

War .328 

gives reasons for declining, 328 
Second Continental Congress, May 

10, 1775, 31 

provides money and muni 
tions \ 31 

delegates from Georgia make 

action unanimous 31 

rules and articles of Avar 

adopted 31 

denounces acts of Parliament 
as " unconstitutional, oppres 
sive, and cruel " 31 

Second New Jersey campaign, and 

its results 167 

SEVIER, JOHN Am. col. ; b. 1745, 
d. 1815; at King s Mountain, 
his descendants honored. .293 
anthropist; b. 1734, d. 1813; 
resigns rather than aid the 

war 21 

SHELBY, ISAAC col., sub. gov. 

Kentucky; I. 1750, d. 1826. 
at King s Alountain, his descend 
ants honored 293 

summoned to Virginia, 1780, 314 
SHELDON, ELISHA col.; attacked 

by Tarleton 255 

on expedition with Lauzun, 334 
supports Washington ..334-5-6 

has a spirited scout 337 

eral U.S. A.; 6.1831,^.1888; 

his example cited 162 

general; b. 1820, d. 1891; his 
march to the sea cited by way 
of comparison 162 



SHIPPEN, Miss, belle of the Phila 
delphia fStes 216 

becomes the wife of Arnold, 289 
had no knowledge of Arnold s 

treason 291 

.highly esteemed by Washing 
ton and Lafayette 291 

SHULDHAM Br. admiral; relieves 

Graves at Boston G8 

comments on seizure of Dor 
chester Heights 77 

Siege of Quebec closed 66 

Boston 80 

Newport 245 

Savannah 268 

Yorktown 268 

Charleston 275 

New York 347 

Signal-fires in New Jersey . . . .280 

SIMCOE, J. GRAVES Br. lieut.- 

col., Queen s Rangers; sub. 

gov. Canada; b. 1752, d. 1806. 

active in forays 248 

in the Battle of Springfield, 279 
in Virginia with Arnold. . . .310 

raids Virginia 320 

popular misconceptions of his 

character 363 

"Six Nations" (Iroquois) a model 
for Jefferson s constitution, 12 

as a confederacy 13 

invaded by Sullivan 260 

devastated by Sullivan 260 

their estimate of Washing 
ton 1 260-1 

sub. governor Md. ; b. 1732, 
d. 1792. 
with Maryland troops at Long 

Island 105 

makes a gallant fight 107 

deplores ignorance of offi 
cers 123 

in Pennsylvania, later 193 

in battle of Germantown . . . 195 
on duty near Philadelphia . . 206 
as governor, recruits for Greene s 

army 301 

SMITH, SAMUEL lieut. -colonel ; 
b. 1752, d. 1839 ; with Mary 
land troops at Fort Mifflin,200 

Sons of Liberty organized 14 

South Carolina denounces the 

Stamp Act 13 

seizes the colonial magazine, 

April 21, 1775 29 

first news from Lexington . . .29 

South Carolina, continued 

intercepts royal packages 29 

declares a Republic, with offi 
cers, congress, army, navy, 
and all the accessories of an 

independent state 86 

Spain joins France against Great 

Britain, 1761 11 

SPENCER, JOSEPH N. brig.-gen. ; 
b. 1714, d. 1789. 

his military antecedents 36 

his subsequent career 39 

attempts capture of Newport by 

Washington s order 163 

" Spies," says Greene, " are the eyes 

of an army " 303 

Springfield, Mass., selected by 

Knox for a gun- factory . . 163 

Springfield, N.J., Battle of. .278-9 

its lesson emphasized 283 

its casualties noticed 285 

tested the Continental troops, 286 

Stamp Act of 1755 noticed 13 

repealed in 1766 14 

STARK, JOHN maj.-gen.; b. 1728, 

d. 1822. 
in the Battle of Bunker Hill . . 32 

at the Battle of Trenton 142 

at the Battle of Springfield,283 
Statesmanship in war defined, with 

note (Preface) xii 

as stated by Jesus (Preface) . xii 


officer and historian ; b. 1745, 

d. 1812. 

as to Burgoyne campaign and 

Clinton 180 

as to loose Br. discipline . . .210 
as to Battles of Guilford and 

HobkirkHill 321 

as to Br. and Am. forces in 1776 
and 1777 (Appendix D) . .386 
STEPHEN, ADAM Am. maj.-gen. ; 
b. 1730, d. 1791. 

service at Brandywine 189 

at Battle of Germantown . . . 195 
dismissed for drunkenness . . 196 
STEPHENS, EDWARD brig.-gen- 
eral; b. 1745, d. 1820; con 
ducted prisoners, taken at 

Cowpens, northward 316 

STERLING Br. col., sub, maj.- 
general. [Should not be con 
fused with Lord Stirling, in 
the Am. service, see beloV.] 

along the Delaware 194 

k. in Battle of Springfield. .278 



GUSTUS, Baron maj.-gcn. ; 
b. 1730, d. 1794. 
instructor at Valley Forge. .210 

promoted raaj .-gen 212 

acts in harmony with Washing 
ton and Lafayette 213 

at Battle of Monmouth 233 

ordered to the South 300 

in charge of powder and lead 

supplies 302 

in concert with Lafayette. . .327 
his depot at Elk Island at 
tacked 340 

joins Lafayette s division. .340 

in the siege of Yorktown. . .357 

STEWART Br. col. ; succeeds 

Rawdon at the South 321 

fights Green at Eutaw 

Springs 321 

STILES, EZRA pres.Yale College ; 
6. 1727, d. 1795; friend of 

Greene s youth 25 

Lord [his claim to Br. title 
and estates had been in dis 
pute] Am. col., sub. maj.- 
gen. ; b. 1726, d. 1783. 
in Battle of Long Island. . . 105 
his brigade of picked regi 
ments 105 

fights both Grant and Corn- 

wallis 107 

taken prisoner by superior 

numbers 108 

is exchanged and returns to 

duty 122 

reaches White Plains 128 

established at Princeton. . . . 136 

in Battle of Princeton 154 

engages Cornwallis 169 

in Battle of Brandy wine 186 

his good conduct 189 

in Battle of Germantown. . . 195 

at a Council of War 217 

in Battle of Monmouth . . . 233 
threatens Staten Island. ... 271 
president at Charles Lee s court- 
martial (Appendix G) ... 389 
Stony Point stormed by 

Wayne ....... 257-8 

abandoned by Washington. .259 
Strategy defined, with note (Pref 
ace) x 

SULLIVAN, JOHN maj. -general; 

b. 1740, d. 1795. 
personal notice 36 

Sullivan, John, continued 

his career outlined 39 

sent to Canada 87 

succeeded by Gates 88 

ambitious letter to Washing 
ton 89 

Washington s discreet reply . .89 

his attitude defined 89 

succeeds Greene on Long Isl 
and 104 

succeeded by Putnam 104 

a peculiar letter 104 

his specious report 107 

taken prisoner 108 

on exchange, takes Lee s divi 
sion 139 

accompanies Washington to 

Trenton 142 

incident of the march. ..... 144 

enters the lower town 145 

frets about appointments ... 166 
Washington s rejoinder .... 166 

again in New Jersey ... 167 

fails in the attack upon Staten 

Island 184 

joins Washington in time for 

Brandywine 184-5 

his position at Brandywine (as 

per map) ..186 

ordered to attack Cornwallis, 187 

flanked by Cornwallis 187 

ordered to change position. . 187 
movement beyond his capac 
ity 188 

difficult under best condi 
tions 188 

loses control of his division, 188 
personal valor undoubted . . 189 
treated justly by Washing 
ton 190 

surprised by Howe 191 

in Battle of Germantown. . .195 

his gallantry noticed 196 

urges attack upon Philadel 
phia 207 

attempts siege of Newport. .241 
relations to the Count d Esta- 

ing 242-3 

issues an intemperate order, 243 
prudently modifies the same, 243 
advised by Washington to fe- 

treat 244 

manly course of D Estaing. .244 

retires to Providence 245 

devastates the Six Nation re 
gion with unsparing desola 
tion ..260 



Sullivan, John, continued 

comments upon , that inva 
sion 2GO-2G1 

resigns and enters Congress, 297 
laconic appeal to him by Wash 
ington .297 

SUMTER, THOMAS col.; b. 1734, 
d. 1882; honored by Wash 
ington 312 


led attack upon Fort Sullivan 

(Moultrie) in 1776 359 

signs terms of capitulation of 
Yorktown 359 


col.; b. 1754, d. 1833. 
attacks Sheldon s cavalry quar 
ters 255 

raids Westchester County, 

N.Y 259 

Washington s counter-stroke, 259 
makes no progress at the 

South 293 

pursues Morgan 314 

completely routed at Cow- 
pens 314 

acknowledges the American 

success 321 

makes a raid upon Char 
lotte 340 

fails to capture Jefferson. . .340 
compliments Lafayette . . . .340 
covers the retreat of Cornwal- 

lis . 341 

joins him at Yorktown 341 

skirmishes with Lafayette. .341 
TERNAY. (See De Ternay.) 
Thanksgiving Proclamations of 

at Valley Forge 214 

at White Plains 246 

at Yorktown 360 

at New York 365 

THAYER Am. maj.; in defence 

of Fort Mifflin 203 

gen. U.S.A.;*. 1815, d. 1870; 

his example cited 26 

THOMAS, JOHN major-general 
(Mass.), Continental brig.- 
gen.; b. 1725, d. 1776. 

military antecedents 23, 36 

subsequent career noticed . . .39 
efficient in the siege of Bos 
ton . . . 78 

Thomas, John, continued 

sent to Canada 84, 86 

a victim to small-pox in camp, 88 


of first Continental Congress, 

and his correspondence with 

Franklin noticed 13, 16 

Ticonderoga taken by Ethan 
Allen 30 

retaken by Burgoyne 182 

TOWERS, ROBERT, of Philadel 
phia, to receive and pay for 

arms 141 

Conn. ; statesman ; the origi 
nal Brother Jonathan ; b. 1710, 
d. 1788. 

anxious about sea-coast expos 
ure 56 

his correspondence with AVash- 
ington 56 

always Washington s fast 
friend 56 

furnishes troops for New York 
city 83 

sends nine more regiments to 

Washington 102 

statesman; b. 1740, d. 1804. 

commissary at Long Island . . 110 

becomes secretary to Wash 
ington 300 

TRYON, \VILLIAM gov. N.C. ; b. 
1725, d. 1788. 

his relation to the British Stamp 
Act ^ 13 

his career in North Carolina, 
New York, and Connecti 
cut 84 

holds a conference with Gen. 
Howe 98 

invades Connecticut 166 

fights Worcester and Arnold at 
Ridgefield 166 

again invades Conn 256 

resisted by Yale College stu 
dents at New Haven 256 

in the Battle of Springfield . . 278 

TULLY, Monsieur DE sails for the 

Chesapeake 323 

is obliged to return 323 

his reasons satisfactory to 
Washington 326 

Union of the Colonies advocated in 
1697, 1722, 1754 by Penn, 
Coxe, and Franklin 12 



United States of America, a " stu 
pendous fabric of freedom 
and empire," as predicted by 
Washington, and the fulfil 
ment 365, 366,368 

" asylum for the poor and op 
pressed of all nations," as 
predicted by Washington, and 
comments 365, 368 

respect for law and religion the 
basis of Washington s charac 
ter, and of the confidence he 
inspired in the American 
people 367-8 

shares with Great Britain 
bequests under M a g n a 
Charta 371 

harmony in that fruition, the 
possible future 371 

three hundred millions of treas 
ure, her free-will offering to 
man 374 

her alms, recorded in the census 
of 1890, the gauge of her 
maturing sympathy with hu 
manity 374 

Valley Forge established as head 
quarters 206 

special Council of War noticed, 
respecting u On to Philadel 
phia!" 212 

French alliance announced in 
camp 213 

a grand parade ordered. .. .214 

a Thanksgiving proclamation 
made 214 

special Council of War, April 
20, 1777 217 

its ordeal made soldiers .... 231 
gen. ; b. 1749, d. 1789. 

his brigade reports for duty, 203 

in Battle of Monmouth 233 

enters Congress 315 

VAUGHAN, Sir JOHN Br. maj.- 
gen. ; b. 1738, d. 1795; burns 

Kingston, N.Y 179 

Count DE Fr. minister of 
foreign affairs ; b. 1717, 
d. 1787. 

comments on the Battle of Ger- 
mantown 197 

proclaims the French alliance 
and the active support of 
American Independence . . 209 

Vergennes, Charles Gravier, con 

is advised by Rochambeau of 
American conditions 287 

regards the American Congress 
as too exacting 308 

guarantees a loan from Hol 
land 348 

" Victory or Death " the counter 
sign and alternative pro 
claimed by Washington. . 149 
ViOMisxiL, Baron A N T o i N E 
CHARLES I>E Houx Fr. gen. ; 
b. 1728, d. 1792, 

storms a redoubt at York- 
town 357 

pleasantry of Lafayette no 
ticed 358 

Virginia aroused by the Stamp 
Act 13 

responds to Patrick Henry s ap 
peal 14 

includes Washington in her 
delegation to First Continen 
tal Congress 17 

catches the news from Lexing 
ton 28 

excited conflict with Lord Dun- 
more 28 

called upon for more troops, 

her troops at Middlebrook. .247 

receives Greene and other offi 
cers gladly 301 

invaded by Arnold 310, 311 

Lafayette in command, 326, 330 

Cornwallis arrives 331 

adjournment of Assembly to 
Charlotte 338 

liberal in its enactments .... 338 

Lafayette s gallantry at Will- 
iamsburg 341 

Jefferson sustained by Lafay 
ette 343 

arrival of Washington ... .351 

WARD, ARTEMAS maj. -general; 

b. 1727, d. 1800. 

his antecedents 23 

appointed senior maj. -gen . . .35 

his brief career noticed 37 

occupies Boston, March 17, 

1776 80 

WARNER, SETH colonel ; b. 1744, 

d. 1785. 
a volunteer at Bunker Hill as 

well as at Ticonderoga. . . .35 



Warner, Seth, continued 

accompanies Allen to Ticonder- 

oga 35 

his subsequent career 35 


of the Soldier; b. 1694, d., in 

his son s eleventh year, 1743.4 


pres. t\vice; b. 1732, d. 1799. 

his boyhood, tastes, and training 

as described by Irving 1 

physical appearance as described 

by Mercer 2 

physical accomplishments 3 

personal characteristics 4 

choice of a profession 4 

parentage, and mother s influ 
ence 4 

first victory won 4 

surveyor, inspector, adjutant- 
general 5 

commissioner to the French. . .6 

frontier service 6 

with Braddock 7 

military studies and maxims . . 8 
marriage, and in House of Bur 
gesses 8 

anticipates revolution 14 

in the First Continental Con 
gress 17 

predicts a bloody future 18 

appointed Commander-in- 

Chief 32 

his associates in command . . .35 

starts for Cambridge 40 

assumes command 41 

his army noticed 41 

withholds some commissions, 44 
his reticence compared with that 

of other generals 44 

his trust in Providence 44 

method of assignments 44 

his estimate of Arnold 45 

rebukes profanity 46 

enjoins observance of the 

Sabbath 47 

institutes courts-martial for 
" swearing, gambling," etc., 47 

skilled in logistics 48 

regard for private soldiers. . .49 

deserters rebuked 49 

games of chance prohibited. .49 
invasion of Canada forced by 

Congress 50 

visited by Committee of Con 
gress 52 

risks of Canadian invasion. . .53 

Washington, George, continued 
denounces religious bigotry. .53 
after Boston, then New York, 54 
expeditions to Canada urged by 

Congress 55 

attitude of Gen. Charles Lee, 56 

ignores sea-coast raids 56 

writes Gov. Trumbull 57 

would burn Boston 57 

policy as to holding cities . . .57 

straggling rebuked 58 

appeals to Congress 58 

privateering regulated 59 

visited by Congressmen and se 
cures a navy 60 

laconic letter to Congress . . .61 
writes Schuyler as to Northern 

expeditions 63 

writes Congress as to same . .68 
begs Schuyler not to resign 
for sake of "God and Coun 
try" 63 

writes Schuyler as to British 

action 64 

plans operations against New 

York 69 

sends Lee to New York 70 

would cross to Boston on the 

ice, but opposed by Council, 71 

laconic letter to Joseph Reed, 72 

preparations for assault 72 

his inflexibility of purpose. . .72 
preparations for future ser 
vice 72-3 

experimental bombardment. .74 
enforced silence in camp .... 75 

his confidential staff 75 

secret plan near execution. . . 76 

second bombardment 76 

third bombardment and occupa 
tion of Dorchester Heights, 77 

British criticism 77 

contingency of failure antici 
pated 79 

a general bombardment 80 

Nook s hill fortified 80 

Boston evacuated 80 

his mission to Boston com 
pleted 81 

reorganization of the army.. 82 
movement to New York be 
gun 82 

advises Congress and Governor 

Trumbull of his plans 83 

disciplines delinquent officers, 83 
establishes a regular Pay Sys 
tem . . 83 



Washington, George, continued 

visits Connecticut to hasten 
troops forward 84 

reaches New York 84 

rebukes Lee and sends him 
South 85 

forced by Congress to send 
more troops to Canada .... 86 

details more troops to Canada 
under order of Congress . .86 

compels citizens to choose be 
tween Britain and America. 86 

deprecates detachment of troops 
to Canada 87 

predicts danger to both the 
armies 87 

warns soldiers not to right their 
own wrongs 87 

learns of British contracts for 
Hessians 87 

notes change in Canadian senti 
ment 87 

writes Schuyler predicting a 
bloody summer 87 

describes Sullivan s character 
istics 89 

apology of Congress for Cana 
dian disaster 90 

strategic conditions at New 
York 91 

Declaration of Independence 
and its effect 91 

British plans noticed 93 

correspondence with Howe . . 98 

describes British commission 
ers, as dispensing pardon to 
repenting sinners 99 

spreads Howe s proclamation 
broadcast 99 

denounces gossip-mongers . . 100 

informs Gov. Trumbull that to 
trust Providence without effort 
is to tempt Providence . . . 102 

issues stringent orders as to dis 
cipline 103 

reenforces garrison at Brook 
lyn 104 

details Sullivan, vice Greene, 
sick 104 

a remarkable letter from Sul 
livan 104 

Putnam supersedes Sullivan . 104 

issues orders to Putnam as to 
wasteful firing 105 

skulkers must be shot down on 
the spot 105 

an " army " not a " mob "... 105 

Washington, George, continued 

will make battle costly to 
enemy 108 

omnipresent in tent or 
trench 108 

plans to withdraw to New 
York 109 

consummate ruse to prevent 
demoralization of troops . . 110 

withdrawal consummated. . .112 

its incidents and success ... 112 

comment of historian Botta. 113 

labors without sleep for forty- 
eight hours while assembling 
the untrained army 114 

laconic notice of bad habits in 
officers and men 114 

describes the militia as " dis 
mayed, intractable, and im 
patient to return home ". . 114 

notices periodical home-sick 
ness 115 

its contagious virulence before 
battle 115 

again demands a sufficient regu 
lar army .115 

denounces robbing orchards and 
gardens 115 

orders three daily roll-calls, to 
stop straggling 115 

writes Congress as to vacating 
the city 115 

advises Gov. Trumbull to deal 
with deserters 116 

generous response of Mass, and 
Conn 116 

describes the situation 117 

initiates retirement from the 
city 119 

denounces a panic at Kipp s 
Bay 119 

his personal exposure to rally 
fugitives 1 19 

a mournful letter to Con 
gress 120 

Edward Everett Hale s account 
of the execution of Nathan 
Hale as a spy serving under 
Washington s orders 120 

embezzlement by regimental 
surgeons 123 

offers reward for Hessian 
troopers and their horses . . 126 

his skirmishers successful . 126 

outgenerals Howe and gains 
White Plains 127 

is joined by Greene and Lee . 127 



Washington, George, continued 
letter of Lee to Gates, censur 
ing Washington 127 

operations at White Plains, 128 
battle of Chatterton hill. . .129 
British preparations for at 
tack 129 

retires to North Castle 

Heights 129 

advises Congress of Howe s 

plans 129 

advises with Greene as to Fort 

Washington 131 

crosses into New Jersey. . . . 131 

orders Lee to follow 131 

so advises Gov. Trunibull . .131 
writes forcibly to Congress .131 
judicious order in logistics .131 
boys or old men enlisted at of 
ficers risk 131 

warns Congress of certain in 
vasion of New Jersey by 

Howe ..132 

abandons Fort Lee 133 

enters upon his first New Jer 
sey campaign 133 

a misnomer to call it simply a 

" masterly retreat " 135 

musters his army 130 

skirmishes with Cornwallis. 136 
controls the Delaware river, 136 
plans Dec. 5, to take the offen 
sive 137 

notes the capture of Lee . . . 139 
Sullivan takes Lee s division, 139 

other letters of Lee 138-9 

his powers enlarged by Con 
gress 140 

places Philadelphia under mili 
tary rule 140 

takes the aggressive 143 

battle of Trenton, with map, 144 
" will drive the enemy from 

New Jersey " 147 

is clothed with dictatorial au 
thority 148 

his response to Congress . . . 148 
his motto, " Victory or death," 

retained 149 

reoccupies Trenton 152 

awaits arrival of Cornwallis, 152 
fights battle of Princeton (see 

map) 152 

instructs officers having inde 
pendent commands 157 

headquarters established at Mor- 
ristown . . . 157 

Washington, George, continued 
exercises with energy his en 
larged powers 157 

his capacity for reprimand .157 

sternly rebukes Heath 158 

issues counter-proclamation to 

one by Howe 1 158 

review of his career by 

Botta 160 

base of operations e s t a b - 

lished (see map) 161 

appreciates Howe s plans. . . 164 
the second New Jersey cam 
paign 167 

outgenerals Cornwallis .... 169 
learns of Burgoyne .s inva 
sion 171 

replies to his proclamation . 172 
tart correspondence with 

Gates 174 

prophetic letter to Sclmyler, 175 
detects Howe s modified plan 177 

readies Philadelphia 183 

triumphant march through the 

city , 184 

takes position on the Brandy- 
wine 185 

battle of Brandywine 187 

its lesson 191 

reaches Philadelphia 192 

resumes the offensive 194 

attacks Germantown 195 

lesson from that battle. 197 

operations along the Dela 
ware 200 

sends Lafayette into New Jer 
sey ." 203 

hostile attitude of Gates 204 

experience at Valley Forge, 206 

pleads with Congress 206 

clock-work and army discipline 

similar 206 

sharply rebukes the Pennsylva 
nia Assembly 207 

the Conway cabal 207 

French alliance proclaimed, 213 
gives Lafayette an independent 

command 215 

a sharp letter to Lee 217 

follows Clinton 224 

increases Lafayette s c o rn - 

mand 225 

advises Lafayette as to Lee, 228 
advances to his support .... 230 
rallies the retreating army . .231 
rebukes Lee on the field and 
takes command . . . . 232 


Washington, George, continued 
^fights the battle of Mon- 

mouth 233 

European comments noticed, 234 
Clinton escapes him to New 

York 234 

trial and sentence of Lee. . .234 

end of Lee s career 234 

tradition as to profanity at Mon- 

mouth disproved 235-7 

at White Plains again 237 

watches D Estaing 240 

George Washington, Esqr.," 

and Howe 241 

writes Sullivan at Newport, 242 
warns him against Clinton . . 244 
suggests a timely retreat. . . . 244 
officially recognizes the hand of 

Providence 246 

removes to Fishkill 247 

assigns army divisions. . .247-8 
opinion of Bancroft cited.. 250 

visits Philadelphia 250 

writes Speaker Harrison as to 

corruption of the times .250-1 

social excesses of congressmen 

deplored 251 

opposes another expedition to 

Canada 252 

sacrifices his private fortune, 252 

at New Windsor 254 

watches hostile demonstra 
tions 256 

plans attack upon Stony 

Point 257 

its success as planned 258 

capture of Paulus Hook. . . .259 
sends Sullivan to punish In 
dians 259 

honored by the Six Nations, 260-1 

strengthens West Point 261 

his sublime faith 264 

his trials at Morristown. . . .265 
postpones attack upon New 

York 265 

reorganization of the army im 
peratively necessary 269 

praises New Jersey prompt 
ness 272 

again appeals to Congress, 272-3 
watches Clinton closely .... 274 
visited by Lafayette, just re 
turned from France 276 

gives him a letter to President 

of Congress 276 

sends Southern troops south 
ward . , . . 277 

Washington, George, continued 
the mutiny of troops gives him 

" infinite concern " 277 

outgenerals Knyphausen . . .280 
describes British movements, 280 

new trials at hand 281 

outgenerals Clinton 282 

- Battle of Springfield 28(5 

adroit appeal to governors at 

the North 286 

again threatens New York. .286 
appreciated by Rochambeau, 287 
assigns Arnold to West 

Point 288 

-Arnold s treason and the execu 
tion of Andre 290 

vindicates Mrs. Arnold . . . .291 

takes post at Brakeness 291 

assigns Greene to West 

Point 291 

his outlook over the field . .294 
his sympathy with the rank and 

file 295 

writes about American specu 
lators in food 296 

appeals to Sullivan, then in 

Congress 297 

compares rolling small and large 

snowballs 297 

confers with Rochambeau. .297 
writes Franklin of approaching 

victory 298 

reenforces Southern army. .299 
temporary expedients de 
nounced 299 

designates winter quarters . . 300 
addresses Southern gov 
ernors 301 

places Greene in Gates place, 301 
sends his best officers south, 303 
his powers again enlarged . .304 

as judged abroad 305 

" stay-at-homes" derided. . .305 
his " superhuman regard for 

man, as man " 305 

his relations to foreign offi 
cers 305 

treatment of Pennsylvania mu 
tiny 307 

is judged by French generals, 

says Franklin 308 

individuality of the States, no 
ticed 308 

keeps away from scene of mu 
tiny 309 

elements of success in sight, 
and all plans matured 313 



Washington, George, continued 

his specific instructions to 
Greene 3ia 

his use of " pick and spade," 313 

writes Greene as to Cow- 
pens 31G 

is advised of Greene s move 
ments 320 

plans for capture of Arnold, 323 

the war approaches its crisis, 324 

writes Lafayette as to French 
support 326 

modifies Lafayette s orders, 326 

" never judges the past by after 
events" 326 

urges Schuyh-r to be Secretary 
of War 328 

startling extracts from his 
diary 328 

" chimney-corner patriots " de 
nounced 328 

" venality, corruption and abuse 
of trust universal " 329 

indorses Lafayette s strat 
egy 330 

approves his action respecting 
Arnold 332 

confers again with Kochambeau \ 
at Wethersfield 333 \ 

advances toward New York, 334: 

joined by French army . . . .335 ! 

sends out decoy letters and j 
plans 335 ! 

builds brick ovens in New Jer- j 
sey 336 ! 

reconnoitres Clinton s out- ! 
posts 336-7 ; 

challenges Clinton to battle, 337 

hears good news from Lafay 
ette 339 

second report from Lafay 
ette 341 

Lafayette ready for his ar 
rival 343 

good news from Count de 
Grasse 344 

urges Northern governors to 
action 345 

swift messengers sent every 
where 345 

his finesse outwits Clinton.. 346 

visits West Point with Rocham- 
beau .347 

abandons fixed headquarters, 347 

allied armies in motion not 
missed by Clinton 347 

grand tidings from France. .348 

Washington, George, continued 
enters Philadelphia, not yet 

missed by Clinton 348 

despatches from Lafayette re 
ceived 349 

starts for Chesapeake Bay, 349 
meets courier from Lafay 
ette 350 

another courier arrives .... 350 
welcomed with Rochambeau at 

Baltimore 351 

visits Mt. Vernon with French 

officers as guests 351 

arrives at Lafayette s head 
quarters 351 

his strategy noticed 352-3 

studies the position with care, 354 

visits Count de Grasse 356 

fires the first gun before York- 
town 357 

siege pushed with vigor . . . .357 
terms of surrender settled .359 
surrender consummated. .. .360 
issues proclamation for Public 

Thanksgiving 360 

a grand parade of the entire 

army 360 

assigns Lafayette to a Southern 

expedition 361 

the expedition abandoned. . .361 
parts with Lafayette who re 
turns to France 361 

retains Rochambeau in America 

until 1782 361 

his magnanimous treatment of 

the Queen s Rangers 362 

still honored in Nova Scotia 

and New Brunswick. . .362-3 

triumphant entry into New 

York 363 

formally closes the war .... 364 
another Thanksgiving procla 
mation 364 

predicts a grand future for 

America 365 

his trust in Divine Providence 

emphasized 366 

tested by military art 367 

grounds of his faith in Ameri 
can destiny 371 

lessons from his career . . . .373 
founds West Point Military 

Academy 373 

donates sites for National Uni 
versity 374 

his closing appeal to the Ameri 
can conscience .. ..374 



of the Soldier; b. 17 18, d. 1752. 

educated in England *1 

in the British army 1 

his example and influence. . 1, 4 


the Soldier; b. 1732, d. 1802; 

her marriage (see also Cus- 

tis) 8 

the Soldier; 6.. 1706, d. 1789. 

her will-power 4 

her moral training 5 

their permanent effect in her 

son s character 5 

b. 1752, d. 1810. 

at Battle of Trenton 142 

captures two guns at Tren 
ton 145 

wounded in the attempt .... 145 

at Cowpens 314 

Washington s " Invincibles " . . , 105 

WAYNE, ANTHONY maj.-gen. ; 

b. Paoli, Pennsylvania, 1745, 

d. 1796. 

attacks Hessian rear-guard in 

N.J 169 

at Battle of Brandywine, 186,189 

surprised at Paoli 193 

at Battle of Germantown . . . 195 
with Lafayette at Mon- 

mouth 226 

powerless at time of mu 
tiny 307 

joins Lafayette in Virginia, 341 
makes a brilliant charge at 

Williamsburg 341 

WEBSTER, DANIEL statesman 

and orator; b. 1782, d. 1852. 

his opinion of General Schuy- 

ler 37 

his sublime ideal, " Union," in 

prospect 266 

Br. gen., sub. field marshal ; 
ft. 1769, d. 1852; cited for 
comparison (Preface) ...viii 
WESLEY, JOHN eminent divine ; 
b. 1703, d. 1791 ; had visited 
America . ..21 

officer; b. 1731, d. 1819, cited 

as to Charleston 274 

WILKINSON, JAMES maj.-gen.; 

b. 1757, d. 1825. 
with Lee at his capture .... 138 

at Battle of Trenton 142 

his- interview with Washing 
ton 142 

WILLETT, MARINCS col. ; b. 1744, 
d. 1826 ; operates against the 
Onondagas near Syracuse. 252 
WILLIAMS, JAMES Am. col. ; at 
King s Mountain, and de 
scendants honored 293 

Wilmington, N.C., visited by Sir 
Peter Parker, Cornwallis and 
Clinton, May 3, 1776.... 97 
scholar, historian, statesman; 
ft. 1809, d. 1894; gratefully 
remembered by the author 

(Preface) xi-v 

Note. Mr. Winthrop de 
livered the oration at lay 
ing the corner-stone of 
the national Washington 
monument, at Washing 
ton, D.C., and also at its 

Woman s heroism in the Revolu 
tion 285 

WOOSTER, DANIEL maj.-gen.; 

6. 1711, d. 1777. 
his military antecedents .... 23 
his subsequent career outlined, 38 
in movement against Fort Inde 
pendence ._. 157 

at home with the Connecticut 

militia 165 

resigns his commission. .. .165 

is mortally wounded 166 

WRIGHT, Sir JAMES royal gov 
ernor of Georgia; b. 1714, 

d. 1785, noticed 29, 30 

Wyoming Valley invaded by 

Indians 249 

summarily avenged . . .252, 260 

Yale College students resist Tryon s 
invasion of New Haven.. 256 




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fo L-.n 

vhicli renewed. ^ 
ect ^> imme^alle r( 11. 




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MAR 12 1970 87 

s FER z^7n 

Af>R 3 197H 



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