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tion such as resulted from the presence of the British army and navy. Fresh provisions were not alway to be had, and were most. ly too dear for the lowerclass to obtain; but at length the rations of the soldiers were so plentiful, that by the aid of these and arrivals from Europe, they that remained in the town had a tolerable supply of pork, peas, salt butter, sweet oil and bread, at a moderate price. But the intensccold of the season rendered the want of fuel extremely grievous. Families, which had been accustomed to plenty, were obliged to burn with the most sparing hand, and to save by going to their beds very early, and leaving them as late. Many kept to them in the sharpest wcather, other than as they got up to dress their victuals and eat their meals. Numbers, to supply the want of fuel, pulled up the floors of their houses, the stairs, and whatever offered. The wooden buildings, taken down by order of gen. Howe, were appropriated to the use of the royal refugees. It was as much charity to the poorer inhabitants to admit them to a small fire, as to furnish them with victuals. You niust recollect the hard frosts you have in Britain, once in a great number of years, to conceive of what persons must endure through the want of fuel, from the long continued frosts of this country. The houses which the British officers inhabited while in Boston, were generally left in good condition; but afterwards much damaged when tenanted by the Americans, whose style of life did not lead them to pay attention to neatness and elegance.
New-York, most probably, is hence forward to be the grand seene of action. Gen. Lee has left the city some time, and is gone to the southward. While there, he took care to remove the good cannon on the battery, and at the king's store amounting to about a hundred, to a place of safety; a third of them are thirty-two pounders. He also drew up another tremendous oath to be administered to the tories, and sent captain Sears over to Queen's county with it; which led congress to resolve, “That no oath by way of test be imposed upon, exacted or required of any of the inhabitants of these colonies, by any military officer." In many of the streets of the city there are breast-works, barricadoes, &c.and more are making, together with forts in abundance. Actual service began in the colony, (April 6.) A British sloop sent her boat ashore on Staten-Island to get water, and a party of riflemen took the boat and crew prisoners. The firing between the sloop and the riflemen lasted all day. The city, in a week's time, was thronged with provincials; and it might be concluded, that the environs were not very safe from so undisciplined a multitude; but there are few instances of so great a number of troops being together with so little mischief done by them. However
as they (especially the Connecticut soldiers, whom some pronounced the dirtiest people on the continent) are not particularly attentive to cleanliness, the owners of the houses where they are quartered, if they ever get possession of them, must be years in cleaning thein, unless they get new floors, and new plaister the walls. Gov. Tryon has lost his crcdit with the citizens, and is now spoken of with contcmpt and disgust.
The governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, was no less popular than Tryon at one time; but is at length as little respected by the Virginians as the other is by the New-Yorkers. The measures he has continued to pursue, have only encreased, instead of diminishing the general resentment. We left him on board a ship off Norfolk, on the 14th of December, and col. Robert Howe in possession of the town. The Liverpool frigate arrived from GreatBritain. Soon after, the captain sent a flag of truce, and demanded to be informed whether his majesty's ships of war would be supplied from the shore with provisions: the veply was in the negative; and the ships in the harbour being continually annoyed by the riflemen from behind the buildings and ware-houses on the wharfs, it was determined to dislodge them by destroying the same. Previous notice was given, that the women, children, and other innocent persons, might remove from the danger. (Jan. 1.) The entrance of the new year was signalized at four o'clock in the morning, by a violent cannonade from the Liverpool, two sloops of war, and the governor's armed ship the Dunmore; seconded by parties of sailors and marines, who landed and bred the houses next the water. Where buildings instead of being co. vered with tile, slate, or lead, are covered with shingles, (thin light pieces of fir or cedar, half a yard in length, and about six inches broad) let the wind be ever so moderate, they will, upon being fired, be likely to communicate the conflagration to a distance, should the weather be dry, by the lighted burping shingles being drived by the force of the names to the tops of other houses. Thus it happened here ; and most of the town was destroyed. Col. Howe, by his positive orders and presence, did all he could to extinguish the fire; but in vain. It is not improbable, that some of the soldiers and negroes, regardless of all orders, instead of extinguishing, used all their endeavours to spread the fiames; and thought then selves justified, upon the principle of the property's belonging to persons inimical to the liberties of America. A part of the town escaped; the owners were mostly whigs. Their houses however, were afterward va. lued, and then burnt by the direction of the ruling civil authority. Thus the whole town was reduced to ashes, that the enemy might have no shelter, should they be inclincd to establish a post
on the spot. A few men were killed and wounded on both sides at the burning of Norfolk, the most populous and considerable town for commerce of any in the colony. It contained about 6000 inhabitants, and many in affluent circumstances. The whole loss is estimated at more than three hundred thousand pounds sterling. However urgent the necessity, it was an odious business for a governor to be himself a principal actor in burning and destroying the best town in his government. The Americans afterward cut off every possible resource from the ships, burnt and destroyed the houses and plantations within reach of the water; and obliged the people, chiefly royalists, to remove with their cattle and provisions further into the country. The horrid distresses brought upon numbers of innocent persons by these operations, must pain. the feelings of all who are not hardened by a party spirit.
Governor Martin demands our next attention. Though he was obliged to take refuge on board a ship of war, he contemplated the reduction of North-Carolina to royal obedience. He had been informed, that a squadron of men of war, with seven' regiments, under the conduct of Sir Peter Parker and lord Cornwallis, were to leave Ireland on an expedition to the southern provinces in the beginning of the year, and that North-Carolina was their first, if not principal object. He knew also that gen. Clinton, with a small detachment, was on his way to meet them at Cape Fear. He had for some time formed a connection witlı the regulators, and highland-emigrants, in the western parts of the province. To these people he sent several commissions for the raising and commanding of regiinents, and granted another to Mr. M'Donald to act as their general. He also commanded all persons by proclamation, to repair to the royal standard which was to be erected by the general about the middle of February. The highlanders and regulators collected and embodied at Cross Creek the beginning of the month; and by the 19th amounted to about fifteen or sixteen hundred. Gen. Moore hearing that they were assembling, marched with his own regiment, and all the militia he could collect, about 1100 in all, to an inportant post within seven miles of Cross Creek, which he secured on the 15th Feb. On the 12th they marched within four miles of him, and sent in, by a flag of truce, (Feb. 20.] the governor's proclamation, a manifesto, and a letter to the general, which he answered. That and the following night they crossed the northwest river, and took their rout to Negro Head Point. On information hereof gen. Moore sent an express to col. Caswell, who was upon his march with 800 men to join him, and directed him how to proceed upon the occasion. Colonels Lillington and Ashe were ordered, if possible to reinforce him; and if they could
not, to take possession of Moore's Creek bridge. The general pursued the enemy; but did not coine up with them. He proposed getting to and securing the bridge, which was about ten miles from them. Want of horses occasioned a delay; but col. Lillington had taken his stand there just in time, and the next afternoon was reinforced by col. Caswell. The colonels immediately raised a small breast-work and destroyed part of the bridge. The next morning at break of day, [Feb. 27.) an alarm gun was fired, directly after which, scarcely leaving the Americans a moment to prepare, the enemy with capt. M'Cleod at their head (gen. M.Donald being ill) made their attack. Finding a small intrenchinent next the bridge quite empty, they concluded that the Americans had abandoned their post, and in the most furious manner advanced within thirty paces of their breast-work and artillery, where they met with a warm reception. Captains M'Cleod and Cambell fell within a few paces of it; and in a few minutes the whole army was put to flight, and shamefully abandoned their general, who was the next day taken prisoner. They lost only about 70 killed and wounded. The Americans had only two wounded, one of them survived. The conquerors took 13 waggons, 350 guns and shot bags, about 150 swords and dirks, and 1500 excellent rifles. The joy this conquest diffused among the North-Carolinians is inconceivable, the importance of it being heightened by gen. Clinton and lord William Campbell's being then at Cape Fear in sanguine expectation of being joined by the vanquished. The Americans under colonels Caswell and Lil- '; ligton were about 1000 strong. Parties of men have been dispeised through the colony, to apprehend suspected persons, and . disarm all the highlanders and regulators routed in the battle who are discharged if privates, but the officers are secured. It was but a few inonths since
capt. M'Cleod and another officer took a solemn oath before the committee at Newbern, that their business in North-Carolina was only to see their friends and relations.
In South-Carolina, when the recommendation of the continen- .. tal congress for the establishment of a form of governmentcames to be considered, a great part of the provincial congress opposed the measure ; it had so much the appearance of an eternal separation from a country, by a reconciliation with which many yet hoped for a return of ancient happiness. While they were sus-' pended on this important debate, an express arrived from Savan. nah, with the act of parliament, passed December 21, 1775,con- ' fiscating all the American property found Hoating upon the water; and compelling all the crews belonging to American vessels, without distinction of persons to serve as cominon sailors in the
British ships of war. By this act they considered all the colonists from New-Hainpshire to Georgia inclusively, as thrown out of the king's protection. The timely arrival of it turned the scale, silenced all who were advocates for a reconciliation, and produced a majority for an independent constitution. In less than an hour after the act was read in the convention, an order was issued to seize for the public, a Jamaica vessel laden with sugar, which had put into Charlestown in her way for London; though she had the day before obtained leave to pass the forts, and meant to sail in the afternoon, Still the attachment of numbers to GreatBritain was so strong, that though thcy assented to the establishment of an independent constitution; yet it was carried after a long debate, that it is only to exist, “ till a reconciliation with Great Britain and the colonies shall take place*.”.
The transactions in Georgia remain to be related. Gen. Howe, while at Boston, in order to obtain rice, sent major Grant and Capt. Maitland with four transports and 200 marines to Savannah. The South-Carolina congress having timely information, com. anissioned col. Stephen Bull to act in aid of the Georgians: he accordingly marched a body to their assistance. A battery was erected, which fired smartly upon the transports on their arrival in the harbour. Upon this they went round an island in the night to get at some vessels going to Great-Britain. About four o'clock in the morning of March the third, the enemy, by col. lusion with the masters and others, got on board these ships, where they attempted to conceal themselves. But knowledge of it being obtained, 300 men were immediately marched opposite the shipping, with three four pounders, and threw up a breastwork. Firing between both parties after a while ensued. At length it was determined to burn the vessels, orders were issued to fire the Inverness and cut her loose; which being executed the marines in the utmost confusion, got on shore in the marsh, while the riflemen and field pieces were incessantly galling them. The shipping were also in the utmost disorder. Some got up the siver under cover of an armed sloop, while others caught the flame, and, as they passed and repassed with the tide, were the subject of gratulation and applause. Seven loaded vessels were burnt, and the intention of gen. Howe entirely frustrated.
Philadelphia will detain us for a while. Congress resolved, (Jan. 15.) “ That to express the veneration of the U. Colonies for their late general, Richard Montgomery, and the decp sense they entertain ofthe many signal and important services of that gallant officer; and to transmit to fuiure ages, as examples truly
* Dr. Ramsey's Hiftory of the Revolution of South Carolina, vol. s. p. 82, and onward.