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much stronger than it was in reality, would admit of no pursuit; and in the course of the night crossed over into the island, whence he soon afterwards proceeded to Portsmouth.
In the American accounts of this action, the militia are not mentioned; nor is there any statement of their loss. The British represent a detachment of them to have been brought into the engagement, but to have been broken and driven off the field at its commencement. It appears from the returns, that one hundred and eighteen of the continental troops, among whom were ten officers, were killed, wounded, or taken, and two pieces of artillery were left on the field, the horses attached to them being killed. The British loss was less considerable. It is stated, in both killed and wounded, at five officers and about seventy privates.
All active operations were now for a time suspended; and the harassed army of La Fayette was permitted to repose itself.
Although no brilliant service was achieved by this young nobleman, the campaign in Virginia enhanced his military reputation, and raised him in the general esteem. That with so decided an inferiority of effective force, and especially of cavalry, he had been able to keep the field in an open country, and to preserve a great proportion of his military stores, as well as his army, was believed to furnish unequivocal evidence of the prudence and vigour of his conduct.
State of affairs at the beginning of the year 1781--Su
perintendant of finances appointed—Designs of General Washington against New York-Count Rochambeau marches to the North River-Intelligence from the Count de Grasse-Plan of operations against Lord Cornwallis- Naval engagement -The combined armies march for the Chesapeak—Expedition of Arnold against New London-York-town investa ed-Surrender of Lord Cornwallis.
THE "HE deep gloom which in the commencement
of the year had enveloped the prospects of America, and which we have seen darkening for a time the south, was far from being dissipated in the north. The total incompetency of the political system adopted by the United States to their own preservation, became every day more and more apparent. At a time when the most gorous ex. ertions seemed indispensable to the safety of the nation, an irresolute feebleness and backwardness were every where manifested, as if each state was fearful of doing too much, and of taking upon itself a larger portion of the common burden than was borne by its neighbour. The resolutions of Congress had called for an
army of thirty-seven thousand men, to be in camp by the 1st of January. The requisition had been much too long delayed; and had it even been made in time, it is not probable that so large a force could have been brought into the field; but the deficiencies and the delays, on the part
of the respective states, exceeded every calculation which could reasonably have been made.
The regular force drawn from Pennsylvania to Georgia inclusive, at no time, during this active and interesting campaign, amounted to three thousand effective men.
Of the northern troops, twelve hundred had been detached under the Marquis de la Fayette to the aid of Virginia. Including these in the estimate, the states from New Jersey to New Hampshire inclusive, so late as the month of April, had furnished only five thousand infantry. Of these the returns for that month exhibit, in the northern department, less than three thousand effectives. The cavalry and artillery at no time amounted to one thousand men. This small army was gradually and slowly agumented, so as in the month of May to exhibit a total of near seven thousand men, of whom rather more than four thousand might have been relied on for action. Even this small force was less efficient than it would other. wise have been, in consequence of being brought into camp too late to acquire that discipline which is essential to military service.
The prospects for the campaign were rendered still more unpromising, by the almost total failure of supplies for the support of the troops. The clothing which had been long expected from Europe had not yet arrived, and the disappointments in this respect had been as unaccountable as they were afflicting. But the most serious alarm was produced by the want of provisions.
* On the 1st of May 1781, General Washington commen: ced a military journal. The following is a brief statement of the situation of the army at that time :-“ I begin, at this epoch, a concise journal of military transactions, &c. I lament not having attempted it from the commencement of the war, in aid of my memory; and wish the multiplicity of matter, which continually surrounds me, and the embarrassed state of our affairs, which is momentarily calling the attention to perplexities of one kind or another, may not defeat altogether, or so interrupt my present intention and plan as to render it of little avail.
“ To have the clearer understanding of the entries which may follow, it would be proper to recite in detail our wants and our prospects, but this alone would be a work of much time and great magnitude. It may suffice to give the sum of them, which I shall do in a few words, viz.
“ Instead of having magazines filled with provisions, we have a scanty pittance scattered here and there in the different states. Instead of having our arsenals well supplied withi military stores, they are poorly provided, and the workmen all leaving them. Instead of having the various articles of field equipage in readiness to deliver, the quarter-master general is but now applying to the several states (as the dernier ressort) to provide these things for their troops respectively. Instead of having a regular system of transportation estab.
After Congress had come to the resolution of emitting no more bills on the credit of the continent, the duty of supplying the army with provisions necessarily devolved on the states, who possessed the whole power of taxation, who continued to issue paper money, and who were required by the federal government to furnish certain specified articles for the subsistence of the troops, according to a ratio established by Congress. To such a degree had these requisitions been neglected, as to excite the apprehension that, at every station, the soldiers must be disbanded from the want of food.
lished upon credit, or funds in the quarter-master's hands to defray the contingent expences of it, we have neither the one nor the other; and a'l that business, or a great part of it, being done by military impressment, we are daily and hourly oppressing the people, souring their terpers, and alienating their affections. . Instead of having the regiments completed to the new establishment (and which ought to have been so)
of , agrecably to the requisitions of Congress, scarce any state in the union bas, at this hour, an eighth-part of its quota in the field ; and there is little prospect that I can see of ever getting more than half. In a word, instead of having every thing 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 bewildered and gloomy prospect of a defensive one; unless we should receive a powerful aid of ships, land troops, and money, from our generous allies; and these at present are too contingent to build