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to oppose even open boats on the river ; why then did not the boats proceed immediately to Albany? Had Clinton gone forward, Burgoyne's army had been saved. Putnam could not have crossed to Albany. The army amused themselves with burning Æsopus, and the houses of individuals on the river's bank.”* While the British were manæuvreing in and about the Nortli River, doing mischief to individuals, without serving their own cause in the least, gen. Gates had express upon express, urging him to send down troops to oppose the enemy. On the 14lba he wrote to governor Clinton,* I have ordered the commanding officer, at Fort Scuyler to send Van Schaak's regiment without delay to Albany-desired brigadier-general Gansevoort to repair to that city, and take the command of all the troops that may assemble there and have sent down the two Asopus regiments, the Tryon county militia, and most of the militia cf Albany county." . But he would not weaken his hold of Burgoyne by any detachment of continentals froin his own army or of New-England militia. The New-York state militia, that repaired to the governor to assist the inhabitants, did as milch mischief as the enemy, the burning of houses and other buidings excepted. It is too much the case of all militia, that when they march to the assistance of their countrymen against a commun enemy they do the former a great deal of damage. The laxness of their discipline, and their unreasonable clains, of indulgences from those whom they are to protect, made them expensive and disageeable guests.
When the convention troops began their march to Boston, the Americans lined the hill and road on each side. They expected to have met with many insults while passing through the centre of them, supposed to be between 11 and 12 thousand : but to their great surprise, not even the least gesture was made us of by way of insult. When they had marched on, Gates pushed the army forward, with the utmost expedition, to stop the cruel career of the British up the North-River. Upon the approach of the Americans Vaughan and Wallace retired to liew-York. .
It will be some days, before the vessel for France with the news of Burgoyne's fate, can sail ; which adınits of my adding to the present letter, destined to go by that conveyance, some other matters proper for insertion.
The Rev. Mr. Duche, formerly the chaplain of congress. made an attempt, by writing, on the patriotism of gen. Washington; nothing more need be said of the transaction than what the general has done, in a lotter on October the 16th, ---" To Mli Duche's ridiculous illiberal performance I nizde a very short IC
* Ses the Loraliste Letters
ply by desiring the bearer, Mrs. Ferguson of Graham-park, if she should hereafter, by any accident, meet with Mr. Duche, to tell him, I should have returned it unopened, if I had had arvy ideas of the contents.”
Some persons in congress have been and are mancuvreing to get gen. Conway promoted, which occasioned the commander in chief's writing the next day to a confidential friend-" I ask why the youngest brigadier in the service (for I believe Conway is so) should be put over the heads of the eldest? I am assured they will not serve under him, I have been a slave to the service; I have undergone more than most men are aware of, to harmonize so many discordant parts; but it will be impossible for me to be of any further service, if such inseperable difficulties are thrown in my way."
Before the last year's Massachusetts general court expired, they passed an act to support and enfore the regulating acts made in January, under the title of an act to prevent monopoly and oppression. By this new act, committees were vested with mostextraordinary powers, “which,” as the act says, “ can only be justitied in cases wherein the very existance of the community is depending." The vanity and folly however of regulating acts has been so seen and felt, that they have been repealed by the new general court, within these five days.
Boston and Marblehead have been under great difficulties for want of four and Indian carn; and must have suffered much had it not been for the state importations. On the 15th of Angust there was not flour in the capital sufficient for the inhabitants longer than the next day, except what belonged to the state. The sea-ports and neighboring towns of this state have been used to receive their supplies of four mostly by water, and frora the places now in the hands of the British ; they are therefore liable to be distressed by the operations of the war, though happily exempted from being the seat of it, since the evacuation of Boston.
A secret expedition has been carrying on against Newport, without gen. Washington's having ever been consulted upon it, or knowing from whence or whom it originated. Gen. Spencer was stationed at Providence, and of course conducted it.-The states of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts furnished almost the whole of the troops. The militia who were called out opon the occasion, readily engaged in the service, for they were filled with the expectations of success, and the hopes of plunder. Every thing went on well for some time, without the British troops knowing that preparations were making for passing over to Rhode Island, and attacking them. At length
a half-witted fellow, without seeing consequences, of his on head carried over in his boat to the island a Jew, whom he Janded, and who was to go to Newport, and the neighbouriiood, and procure all the intelligence he could and then to return with Iris information to gen. Spencer. The Jew went to the enemy and acquainted them with the expedition that was going forward. Upon this the British immediately took proper measures for their security. Gen. Spencer however, perfected his preparations. The time and inanner for carrying the militia over was settled. Brigadier Palmer, who headed those from the Massachusetts, had his orders given hiin, but instead of executing them with life and spirit, he neglected and disobeyed then. His conduct occasioned a failure of the expedition. Spencer's courage would have led him to have attempted carrying the island, after this disappointment, and with a smaller body of troops than were originally to have been emploved ; but others would not consent to it. The employing of the Connecticut miliţia in this service, contributed greatly to, if not wholly caused that weakness in the American force stationed on the North-River, which occasioned the loss of the forts Montgunea ry and Clinton.
A long letter for doct. Fothergill goes by the present opportunity. The writer mentions that the Americans are determined not to part with their independence, and proposes that there should be an immediate acknowledgment of it, on the part of Breat-Britain, and an entering upon a commercial alliance with the United States, before any foreign power interferes.Numbers have been for some time dissatisfied with the French, because of their not affording more speedy, open, and impor ant assistance. They flatter themselves that the capture of Burgoyne's army will produce a change in the politics of France. An adoption of the above proposal will be the best expedient for over-reaching her in any design of injuring our native country,
THE military operations in Pennsylvania, are to be the sub. d jects of our immediate attention. About a fortnight after the German-town battle on the 19th of October the royal army under the command of Sir William Howe, removed to Philadelphia,
Measures being concerted between the general and admiral for clearing the Delaware of its obstructions, the former ordered batteries to be erected on the western or Pennsylvania shore, to assist in dislodging the Americans from Mud-Island. He also detached a strong body of Hessians across the river, who were to march down and reduce the fort at Red-bank, while the ships and batteries on the other side were to attack Mud-Island. Count Donop commanded the detachment, consisting of three battalions of grenadiers and the regiment of Mirback, beside, Jight-infantry and chasseurs. The Americans were about four hundred under col. Christopher Greene of Rhode Island. (Oct. 22.] When near enough, the count sent a flag and demanded. a surrender of the fort in the most peremptory terms. The colonel concealed the greatest part of his men, so that the officer with the flag thought the garrison very small. Greene answered --"" I shall defend the fort to the last extremity.” Donop attack. ed the intrenchments, after a sharp action carried an extensive outwork, not half completed ; but in the body of the redoubt, which afforded a better covering, the defence was equally vigorous and far more successful. Here indeed the Americans meant to risk the fate of the fort, as they would have the greater advantage of the assailants. The Count was mortally wounded and taken prisoner. Several of the best officers were killed or disabled ; and the Hessians, after a desparate engagement, were repulsed. The second in command being also dangerously wounded, tlie detachment was brought off by lieut. col. Linsing. It suffered not only in the assault but in the approach to and retreat from the fort by the fire of the American gailies and floating batteries. The whole loss was probably not less than 4 or 500 men. Congress have since resolved to present col. Greene with an elegent sword. The men of war and frigates destined for the attack of Mud-Island, alias Fort Mifflin, were equally unfortu.
mate. The ships could not bring their fire to bear with any great effect upon the works. The extraordinary defences with which the free course of the river had been intercepted, had affected its będ, and altered its known and natural channel. By this inean the Augusta man of war and Merlin sloop were grounded so fast, that there was no possibility of getting them off. The Augusta while engaged took fue, and the Nierlin was hastily evacuated. The greater part of the ofhcers and crew of the Augusta were sayed: but the second lieutenant, chaplain, gunner, and no inconsiderable number of the cammon men perished. Notwithstanding this ill success, the British commanders prosecuted with vigor the business of opening the navigation.Nor were the Americans idle ; for they left nothing undone to strenghten their deiences.
(Oct. 29.] Gencral Washington gave the following state of his army,-- Our whole force by the last returns is 8313 contincntal troops; and 2717 militia rank and file, fit for duty ; beside the garrison of Mud-Island amounting to 500 continentais, of Red-bank 350, and a detachment of militia (on the 26th to reinforce it) 300 ; and the troops on the other side, of Schuylkill 500, making together 1450." Thus it appears that his whole strength was 12480 men, Sir W. Howe's probably amounted to more than 10000 rank and file present fit for duty. It had receivcd no increase worth mentioning from among the inhabitants of Pennsylvania or the ncigtiboring states, though large promises had been made (by some sanguine gentlemen who had joined hin) that thousands of loyal subjects would repair to the royal standard as soon as it should make its appearance in Pennsylvania. The American commander in chicf certainly supposed that gen. Howe's force exceeded his own in number, tor, on the 13th of November, he wrote,-" The army which I have under my immediate command has not, at any one time since gen. Howe's landing at the head of Elk, been egual in point of numbers to his. In ascertaining this, I do not confine myselí to continental troops but comprehend militia. I was left to fight two battles, in order if possible to save Philadelphia, with less numbers than composed the army of my antagonist, whilst the world has given us at least double. This though mortifying in some points of view I have been obliged to encouragc; because next to being strong it is best to be thought so by the enemy, and to this cause principally, I think is to be attributed the slow movement of Howe.” The cause was different in the northern department. There the states of New York and New-England resolving to crush Burgoyne, continued pouring in their troops till the surrender of his ariny. Had the same spirit prevaded the people of Pennsylvania Vol. II,