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the encampment of General Washington. He took a position on Chestnut Hill in front of the American right wing. Mr. Stedman, a British historian, of the revolutionary war, who at this time was with Sir William, states his force at fourteen thousand men. The Continental troops at White Marsh amounted to about twelve thousand, and the militia to three. The ground of the Americans was strong, but no fortifications had been erected. Never before had General WASHINGTON met his enemy in this manner, with a superiority of numbers. He wished to be attacked, but was not disposed to relinquish the advantage of ground.
The British Commander spent the 6th in reconnoitring the American right. At night he marched to their left on the hill, which here approached nearer to their camp, and took a good position within a mile of it. The next day he advanced further to the American left, and in doing it approached still nearer this wing. General Washington made some changes in the disposition of his troops to oppose with a greater force the attack he confidently expected on his left. Momentarily expecting the assault, he rode through each brigade of the army, with perfect composure, giving his orders, animating his men to do their duty to their country, and exhorting them to depend principally on the bayonet. During these maneuvres, some sharp skirmishing took place. At evening the disposition of General Howe indicated the design to attack the next morning. The American Commander impatiently waited the assault, promising himself some compensation for the disasters of the campaign in the issue of this battle. But his hopes were disappointed. On the afternoon of the eighth, Sir William returned to Philadelphia, with such rapidity as not to be overtaken by the American light troops, which were sent out to ha rass his rear.
Sir William Howe moved out of Philadelphia with R professed design to ottaak General WASHINGTON
and to drive him over the mountain. He must have felt mortification in receding from this intention, and by it acknowledging in the face of the world, the respect he entertained for the military talents of his opponent, and proclaiming his reluctance to engage an American army of equal numbers, unless he could command the ground of action.
The American troops were badly clothed, and were generally destitute of blankets. The winter setting in with severity, it became necessary to lodge them in winter quarters. The General had revolved the subject in his mind, and weighed all its difficulties. Should he quarter his army in villages, his men would be exposed to the destructive enterprises of partisan British corps, and a large district of country would be opened to the forage of tho enemy. To remedy these dangers and inconveniences, the General resolved to march his army to Valley Forge, a strong position back of Philadelphia, covered with wood, and there shelter them. On the march to the place, for the first time the disposition for the winter was announced. He applauded the past fortitude of the army, and exhorted them to bear their approaching hardships with the resolution of soldiers, assuring them that the publick good, and not his inclination, imposed them. The men bore their temporary sufferings with patience. They felled trees, and of logs built themselves huts, closing their crevices with mortar, and soon assumed the form and order of an encampment. Light troops were stationed around Philadelphia to straiten the enemy's quarters, and to cut off their communication with those of the country who were disposed to supply them with provision.
On the 22d. of December the Commissary announced the alarming fact, that the last rations in store had been served to the troops. A small number of the men discovered a disposition to mutiny at a privation for which they could not anquunt, but in the criminal
mattention of their country; but the majority of the army submitted to the scarcity without a murmur. General WASHINGTON ordered the country to be scour ed, and provisions to be seized wherever they could be found. At the same time he stated the situation of the army to Congress, and warned that body of the dangerous consequences of this mode of obtaining supplies. It was calculated he said, to ruin the discipline of the soldiers, and to raise in them a disposition for plunder and licentiousness. It must create in the minds of the inhabitants jealousy and dissatisfaction. "I regret the occasion which compelled me to the measure the other day, and shall consider it among the greatest of our misfortunes to be under the necessity of practising it again. I am now obliged to keep several parties from the army threshing grain, that our supplies may not fail, but this will not do."-Dur ing the whole winter, the sufferings of the troops at Valley Forge were extreme.
Progress and Issue of the Northern Campaign-Plan to displace General Washington-His Correspondence on the Subject-Letter of General Gates-Remonstrance of the Legislature of Pennsylvania against closing the Campaign-Observations of the Commander in Chief upon it--Sufferings of the Army for the want of Provisions and Clothing-Measures adopted by the Commander in Chief to obtain Supplies--Methods taken to Recruit the Army
Sir Henry Clinton appointed Commander in Chief of the British Forces-He evacuates Philadelphia, and marches through NewJersey to New-York-General Washington pursues him-Battle of Monmouth-Thanks of Congress to the General and ArmyGeneral Lee censured-He demands a Court Martial, and is suspended from his command-French Fleet appears on the American Coast-Expedition against Rhode-Island-It fails- Disaffection between the American and French Officers-Measures of the Commander in Chief to prevent the ill Consequences of it-Army goes into Winter Quarters in the High Lands.
1777. DURING these transactions in the middlo States, the northern campaign had terminated in the capture of General Burgoyne and army. That de
partment had ever been considered as a separate com. mand, and more particularly under the direction of Congress. But the opinion of the Commander in Chief had been consulted in many of its transactions, and most of its details had passed through his hands. Through him that army had been supplied with the greater part of its artillery, ammunition, and drovisions.
Upon the loss of Ticonderoga, and the disastrous events which followed it, he exerted himself to stop the career of General Burgoyne, although by this exertion, he weakened himself in his conflict with Sir William Howe. Without waiting for the order of Congress, in his own name he called out the militia of New-England, and directed General Lincoln to command them. Strong detachments were sent to the northward from his own army. General Arnold, who had already greatly distinguished himself in the field, was sent at the head of these reinforcements, in the expectation that his influence would do much to reanimate the northern forces and inspirit them to noble exertions. Soon after Colonel Morgan with his regiment, the best partisan corps in the American army, was also detached to that service. General Wass. INGTON encouraged General Schuyler to look forward to brighter fortune. “ The evacuation of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence,” said he, in a letter to that General, “ is an event of chagrin and surprise, not apprehended, nor within the compass of my reasoning. This stroke is severe indeed, and has distressed us much. But notwithıstanding things at present wear a dark and gloomy aspect, I hope a spirited opposition will check the progress of General Burgoyne's arms, and that the confidence derived from success will hurry him into measures, that will in their consequences be favourable to us. We should never despair. Our situation has before been unpromising, but has changed for the better, so I trust it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions, and proportion our efforts to tho exigency of the times.” When informed by General Schuyler, that Burgoyne had divided his force to act in different quarters, General WASHINGTON foresaw the consequences, and advised to the measures that proved fatal to that commander. “ Although our af. fairs,” replied he to General Schuyler, “have some days past worn a dark and gloomy aspect, I yet look forward to a fortunate and happy issue. I trust General Burgoyne's army will sooner or later, experience an effectual check; and, as I suggested before, that the success he had will precipitate his ruin. From your account he appears to be pursuing that line of conduct, which of all others is most favourable to us; I mean acting by 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 their present anxiety. In such an event, they would lose sight of past misfortunes ; and, urged at the same time by a regard to their own security, they would fly to arms and afford overy aid in their power.”
The community was not intimately acquainted with the state of things in the northern department. In consequence, strong prejudices were excited against General Schuyler. On account of this popular prejudice, Congress conceived it prudent to change the General of this army, and the Commander in Chief was requested to nominate a successor to General Schuyler. Through delicacy he declined this nomination; but never did the semblance of envy at the good fortune of General Gates, whom Congress appointed, appear in any part of General WASHINGTon's conduct. His patriotism induced him to aid this subordinate General by every means in his power, and VOL. ).