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tack Fort Lee.


This was commanded by General Greene. As the British forces were evidently too strong for him, he evacuated it before he lost the opportunity.

6. General Greene, whom we shall have frequent occasion to mention, was a humane man, as is evident from his unwillingness on this and other occasions to expose, to no good purpose, the lives of his men. He was the son of a Quaker preacher in Rhode Island, and manifested

6. What was the character of General Greene? His early history?



an early fondness for learning, though he had but few opportunities for study.

7. He had first signalized himself in the battle of Lexington, before which he had been engaged either in studying or in school-teaching Law was the profession at which he aimed, and in which his natural inclination and great perseverance would have made him successful, had he not been called away in early life to share the fortunes of war. 8. The whole American army now retreated through New Jersey toward Philadelphia-the British eagerly following them. The pursuit was so close that the hindmost forces of the Americans were sometimes in sight of the bridges they had passed over and pulled down after them, when the British were building them up again.

9. This was a calamitous hour to the Americans. When the retreat commenced, the American forces scarcely exceeded four thousand; and when they crossed the Delaware, at Trenton, the number of effective men was reduced to three thousand. Even this force, poorly fed and sustained, was daily and hourly diminishing.

10. Washington, however, in the midst of all this discouragement, did not allow himself to be depressed. While all else wore the appearance of gloom-even the countenances of the soldiers-Washington was serene and cheerful. Trusting to the justice of the cause he had espoused, and to Heaven, he persevered, in the midst of difficulties which would at least have shaken the constancy of many who have deserved the name of very brave men.

11. On the very day of Washington's retreat over the Delaware, the 8th of December, the British forces took possession of Rhode Island, and blocked up a squadron of American vessels there, with a number of privateers at Providence. The island was held by the king's forces two or three years.



1. PhiladelphiaA being now in imminent danger of becoming the seat of war, Congress, in December, 1776, adjourned to Baltimore; not, however, till they had drawn up and adopted certain articles of Con

7. Where did he first signalize himself? What was his intended profession? 8. What of the American army? Describe the pursuit of the British. 9. What was the situation ef the Americans? 10. How did Washington appear in these trying circumstances? What did the British forces now do in Rhode Island? CHAP. C.-1. What did Congress now do?

What articles did they draw up?


federation, in spirit not unlike the Federal Constitution adopted many years afterward. These they sent to the respective assemblies of each state for approbation. They also gave nearly absolute power to General Washington to conduct the military affairs of the country.

2. After crossing the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, Washington very fortunately received a reinforcement of about fifteen hundred men, beside a considerable body of militia; so that he had now with him an army of seven thousand. But, as the term of enlistment with a large proportion of his older troops would expire at the end of the year, Washington was anxious to effect something immediately.

3. The British army was yet at Trenton. Washington's plan was to recross the Delaware and attack them in their quarters. It was late in the season, being December 25; and, to use a well-known phrase, as cold as Christmas." Yet, neither Washington nor his troops were to be deterred by this.


4. At night, the army, in three divisions, attempted to cross the river in as many different places. It was not only cold, but dark and stormy. The river was crowded with broken ice, rushing together and sweeping down its rapid current. The division commanded by Washington in person was alone successful. This got safely over, and at eight in the morning they were before Trenton.

5. They first attacked a body of Hess'-ians, who, after a most determined resistance, at length surrendered. From nine hundred to one thousand of them were made prisoners, with some cannon. Five hundred cavalry alone made their escape. This brilliant achievement, at a moment of great despondency, roused the spirits of our army, and kindled anew the flagging hopes of the country.

6. As Washington did not think it prudent to hazard any thing more at present, he immediately returned to the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware with his prisoners. But having refreshed his troops and secured his prisoners, he crossed once more to Trenton, and took up his head-quarters there.

7. Their success at Trenton had infused new courage into the American troops, and Washington was determined to make the most of it. It was soon found that the British were concentrating their forces at Princeton and preparing for battle. On the 2d of January, 1777, they came on to Trenton. On their approach, Washington retired with his forces and posted himself on the opposite bank of a rivulet, from which he kept up a firing upon the enemy till night.

2. What reinforcement did Washington receive? What was he anxious to do? 8. What was Washington's plan? 4. Describe the passage of the Delaware. 5. What body was first attacked? What was the result of the attack? 6. What did Washington now do! ? What was soon found? What took place January 2 1777? What did Washington do



8. At dark, the firing ceased on both sides. Cornwallis encamped with his troops near the village, expecting to receive a reinforcement early the next morning, when he should be well prepared to renew the attack. The fires kindled by the two armies were in full view of each other.

9. The situation of the Americans was exceedingly critical. The forces of Cornwallis, if they were concentrated at Trenton, as there was reason to expect, were greatly superior to those of Washington. If a battle should be hazarded in the morning it was with almost a certainty of being defeated. But the Delaware could not now be crossed with safety, on account of broken ice.

10. But there was another difficulty in the way of recrossing the river. It would leave New Jersey wholly to the enemy, depress the public mind, check the enlistment of recruits, of which the army stood in great need, and leave open the door to an attack on Philadelphia.



1. THE final determination was, to march by a circuitous route as quickly as possible, to Princeton, and, if possible, proceed to Brunswick, where Lord Cornwallis had stores. In order, however, to secure the baggage, Washington had it removed, as secretly as possible, to Burlington.

2. The army commenced its march at midnight. With a view to deceive the British, the fires were left unextinguished; the guards even remained to keep them burning brightly, as well as to watch the bridge and fords of the rivulet till daylight, when they were to follow the army. The project succeeded to a charm, and a little after sunrise, next morning, Washington's army was seen approaching Princeton.

3. Here he met with some British regiments on the march, and one of the hottest battles ensued which was fought during the whole war. At first, the British, with fixed bayonets, compelled the Americans to retreat, with considerable loss, and, among the rest, that of General Mercer of Virginia.

8. What was the state of both armies at dark? 9. What was the situation of the Americans? 10. What good reasons were there for not crossing the Delaware? CHAP. CI.-1. What was finally determined upon? What did Washington do as to the baggage? 2. What was done to deceive the British What now ensued? Result to the Ainer.cans?

What of Washington's army


4. Washington, with the main body of the army, now came on, and renewed the attack with great spirit. Contrary to his usual policy, and the policy of the war generally, he exposed himself, for a time, to the hottest fire of the enemy. At length, victory was declared in favor of the Americans.

5. But it was dearly bought. In addition to the brave General Mercer, two colonels from Pennsylvania, and several other valuable officers, were among the slain. The total loss of the Americans was not stated. It was only said that while the British lost one hundred killed and three hundred prisoners, the American loss was somewhat less. 6. Lord Cornwallis discovered, at daylight, that the Americans had escaped, upon which he followed on to Princeton. But he arrived a little too late to engage in the conflict, Washington having retired, in his usual prudent manner, toward Morristown. Here the army took up their quarters for the winter.

7. It was time for them to do so, for it was not only January, but the troops needed repose, as well as almost every thing else. During their late marches many of them had been without shoes, and their naked feet, in passing over the frozen ground, were so gashed as to mark every step with blood. Moreover, there was scarcely a tent in the whole army.

8. Though the main body of the army was stationed at Morristown, a small body of troops, under General Putnam, wintered at Princeton. These, with the volunteers and militia, completely overran New Jersey. One party surprised Elizabethtown, and took one hundred prisoners. Another took sixty refugees on British pay. Another, still, beside some prisoners, took forty wagons, one hundred horses, &c. General Putnam, alone, with his small army, captured, during the winter, about one thousand prisoners!

9. There had been, for some time, a great want of arms and ammunition in the American army; but, about this time, a twentyfour gun vessel arrived from France, with eleven thousand stand of arms and one thousand barrels of powder. At the same time, also, ten thousand stand of arms arrived in another quarter.

10. It is also worthy of record that the smallpox having appeared among the regular troops at Morristown, during the winter, Wash ington had his soldiers nearly all inoculated. The disease was light, except in a very few instances; not a day passing in which they could not, had they been called upon, have encountered the enemy.

What of the

4. What of Washington? 5. What officers did the Americans lose? British loss? 6. What did Lord Cornwallis then do? Where did the American army encamp for the winter? 7. What had been the state of the troops? 8. What of the troops under Putnam? What success had they during the winter? 9. What arms and ammunition did the Americans now receive? 10. What of the smallpox?

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