Page images

king of France presented him with a gold sword. Congress also praised his zeal, prudence, and intrepidity, and voted him a gold medal. 12. But, though a bold and skilful commander, Jones never knew how to command himself, nor to submit to the command of others. He was irritable, impatient, and impetuous, and harsh in his mode of government. So true is it that they only know how to govern well, who have first learned to obey.

13. Jones continued in the war till near its close, and was afterward in the service of the Empress of Russia. But he was not successful; he finally became indigent, neglected, and diseased-the consequence of his own want of moral and religious principles and good physical habits. He died at Paris in 1792.



1. LET us now return to the events of the war in 1777 at and near Philadelphia. The British contented themselves with the quiet possession of the city and the adjacent places, till some time in October, when a part of their troops were detached to assist Admiral Howe and the fleet, in reducing some forts on the Delaware below the city-the remainder continuing in Germantown.

2. Washington, who well knew that the eyes of the country were upon him, seized this opportunity for attacking them. His forces could not have amounted to more than ten thousand men, and many of them were poorly armed and equipped; one thousand of them were actually barefooted, and not a few actually sick. Yet, under all these disadvantageous circumstances, it was thought necessary to hazard a


3. At seven o'clock in the evening of October 3, the troops set out for Germantown. The distance was fourteen miles. They marched rapidly, in order, if possible, to take the enemy by surprise. The plan was well contrived and well executed, and the surprise of the British was complete. The attack was made between daybreak and sunrise on the morning of the 4th.

12. What can you say of Paul Jones as a man and commander? 18. What of Jones's subsequent life? When did he die?

CHAP. CX. 1.-What were the British now doing? 2. What did Washington think it necessary to do? British at Germantown.

How were their troops occupied ? 3. Describe the attack upon the



4. At first the British were repulsed at several points, and from one hundred to one hundred and twenty prisoners taken. But after the battle had lasted about three hours the ammunition of the Americans in part failed. Nor was this the worst. A thick fog came on, and it was so dark that they could hardly distinguish friend from foe, and while the British were retreating in disorder, the Americans also, by some means, took to flight, and were in the end completely routed.

5. Several amusing anecdotes are related of this bloody battle. One division of the army was commanded, it seems, by General Greene, whose aide-de-camp, Major Burnet, wore his hair in a cue. In the heat of the battle, this cue was shorn off by a musket-ball, which General Greene perceiving, said, "Don't be in haste, major; just dismount and get that long cue. The major dismounted and recovered the hair.

6. Not many minutes afterward, another shot came whizzing so close to General Greene, as to take from his head a large powdered curl. The British, at this moment, were hotly pursuing them. "Don't be in a hurry, general," said Major Burnet; "dismount and get your curl." The general, however, did not venture to follow his advice.

7. After the battle, Washington resumed his former position, but in a few days removed to White Marsh, eleven miles north-west of Philadelphia. The British, on their part, left Germantown and retired to the city. Both armies appeared to have gained confidence by this engagement, notwithstanding the well known fact, that both were most severely injured.

8. A battle was fought, about this time, seven miles below Philadelphia. The British had sent two thousand men, under Colonel Donop, to attack a small fort which the Americans had erected on the Jersey side of the Delaware, at Red Bank. They were obliged to retire from the attack, with the loss of their brave commander and four hundred men.

4. What was the result of the battle? 5, 6. Relate the anecdote of General Greene and 7. What was now done by both armies? What was the effect of the last

Major Burnet


8. Describe the attack of the British upon the fort at Red Bank.


PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED. -Tho Confederation.-The Stars and Stripes adopted.-Treaty of Alliance with France.-Treaty with the Cherokees. -American Army at Valley Forge.

DURING the session of Congress for the year 1777, the Confedera


tion of the colonies, which had been attempted the year before, was again under dis cussion, but it had not yet been ratified by the states. By one of the articles the name given to the confederacy was, "The United States of America."

2. One prominent article of the confederation fixed a line of distinction between the powers of the several states and Congress, in order to prevent collisions. To this end the articles were very specific, and they appear to

have been, in many respects, adapted to the existing condition of the country.

3. This year, also, Congress adopted a national flag, as we have already stated. The resolution was in these words: "Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

4. For nearly a year before the surrender of Burgoyne, three commissioners from Congress, Dr. Franklin, Silas Deane and Arthur Lea had been urging France to acknowledge the independence of the United Colonies. When intelligence was received in Paris of that important event, the solicitations of the commissioners were renewed, and finally with success.

5. A treaty of alliance and commerce, between the two nations, was signed February 6, 1778. By the treaty, neither of the two

CHAP CXI.-1. What was done by Congress in 1777? article of the confederation? Describe the national flag. the commissioners Deane and Lee?

2. What was a prominent


What of Dr. Franklin and



powers was to make war or peace without the formal consent of the other. This alliance with France, with the previous and subsequent assistance of La Fayette, proved, in the end, of the highest importance to the United States.

6. A treaty of peace was also made during the year 1777, between the states of South Carolina and Georgia and the Cherokee Indians. This was another highly important measure to both parties. By this Creaty the Cherokees ceded to South Carolina more than three milion acres of their lands.

7. At the close of this eventful year, 1777, Washington and his army retired, for winter-quarters, to Valley Forge, a deep and rugged hollow, twenty miles north-west from Philadelphia. On the 18th of December they began to build huts. These were sixteen by fourteen feet, and were made to accommodate twelve men each. They were so numerous that when the encampment was completed, it had the appearance of a town, with streets and avenues.

8. Troops from each particular state had their quarters together, in this temporary village of log-huts, and here they suffered together, for it was a winter of the utmost severity; thousands had no blankets, and were obliged to spend the nights in trying to get warm, rather than in sleeping. They also suffered greatly, at times, for want of food.


PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-Evacuation of Philadelphia and Battle of Monmouth.

1. THE British kept possession of Philadelphia this winter and the following spring; and although Washington's camp was within three or four hours' march of the city, no attempt was made to molest him. Foraging parties went up, it is true, and committed depredations, but they sometimes suffered severely for their temerity.

2. The British troops in the United States were now about thirty. three thousand, of whom nineteen thousand five hundred were at Philadelphia, ten thousand five hundred in New York, and three thousand in Rhode Island. The American army did not exceed fifteen thousand; of whom more than eleven thousand were at Valley

5. What treaty of alliance was signed in 1778? 6. What other treaty was made in 1777 7. Where did Washington's army winter? Describe the encampment. S Describe the sufferings of the troops?

CHAP. CXII-1. What of the British in regard to Philadelphia? 2. Number of thei troops? What of the American army? Upon what had Congress resolved?


Congress had, indeed, resolved on raising forty thousand new troops; but the resolution had not yet been carried into effect.

3. About the first of May, Washington called a council of war, on the subject of attacking the British in Philadelphia. Such a measure was at length decided to be inexpedient. The wisdom of this decision was soon evident; for it was found that they had not only greatly underrated the numbers of the British, but that these were about to leave the city of their own accord.

4. On the 18th of June, 1778, the British evacuated Philadelphia, and marched through New Jersey toward New York. On the 28th, when they had advanced as far as Mon'-mouth court-house*, sixtyfour miles north from Philadelphia, they found themselves attacked by the American army, under the command of Generals Charles Lee, Greene, La Fayette, Wayne, and Washington himself.

5. In the beginning of the attack, the American army was thrown into confusion by the sudden, unexpected and unnecessary retreat of General Lee, from a post which had been assigned him. But, by the exertions of Washington and his able coadjutors, order was again restored, and the battle vigorously sustained till dark, when it was resolved by the Americans to suspend their operations till next morning.

6. They lay on their arms all night, in the field of battle. Even Washington slept in his cloak, under a tree, in the midst of his soldiers, determined to renew the battle at the returning dawn of day. In the mean time, however, the British disappeared, and with so much silence, that their departure had not been suspected.

7. In this battle of Monmouth, both parties, as they had often done before, claimed the victory; yet both were very great sufferers. The Americans had about seventy killed and one hundred and sixty wounded. The British lost, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, three hundred and fifty-eight. During this day, and on their previous march, one thousand more had also deserted them.

8. Among the slain of the British was Colonel Monckton, a most valuable officer, and one greatly beloved. It is said by the British historians, that, in the midst of the confusion and danger of the battle, the troops dug a grave for him with their bayonets, and "placed over him, with their hands, the earth they had first moistened with their tears."

3. Upon what did the council of war decide in regard to attacking Philadelphia? 4. When did the British leave Philadelphia? Where and by whom were they attacked on the 28th June? 5. How were the Americans thrown into confusion? 6. Describe the army at night. What of the British? 7. What was the loss on each side at the battle of Monmouth? S. Describe the death and burial of Colonel Monckton.

* Monmouth is now called Freehold, which consists of a small village, eighteen miles south-east from New Brunswick, New Jersey.

« PreviousContinue »