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than equal to his own. The event verified this conjecture. The more effectually to disguise the departure of the Americans from Trenton, fires were lighted up in front of their camp. These not only gave an appearance of going to rest, but, as flame cannot be seen through, concealed from the British what was transacting behind them.
In this relative position they were a pillar of fire to the one army, and the pillar of a cloud to the other. Providence favoured this movement of the Americans. The weather had been for some time so warm and moist that the ground was soft, and the roads so deep as to to be scarcely passable ; but the wind suddenly changed to the northwest, and the ground in a short time was frozen so hard that when the Americans took up their line of march, they were no more retarded than if they had been upon a solid pavement.
Washington reached Princeton early in the morning, and would have completely surprised the British, had not a party which was on their way to Trenton, descried his troops when th were about two miles distant, and sent back couriers to alarm their unsuspecting fellow soldiers in their rear.
l'hese consisted of the 17th, the 40th, and 55th regiments of British infantry, and some of the royal artillery, with two field pieces, and three troops of light dragoons. The centre of the Americans, consisting of the Philadelphia militia, while on their line of march, was briskly charged by a party of the British, and gave way in disorder. The moment was critical. Washington pushed forward, and placed himself between his own men and the British, with his horse's head fronting the latter. The Americans, encouraged by his example and exhortations, made a stand, and returned the British fire. The General, though between both parties, was providentially uninjured by either. A party of the British fled into the college, and were there attacked with field pieces, which were fired in. to it.
The seat of the muses became for some time the scene of action. The party which had taken refuge in the college, after receiving a few discharges from the American field pieces, came out and surrendered themselves prie soners of war. In the course of the engagement sixty of the British were killed, and a great number wounded, and about three hundred of them taken prisoners. The rest
made their escape, some by pushing on to Trenton; others by returning to Brunswick.
While they were fighting in Princeton, the British in Trenton were under arms, and on the point of making an assault on the evacuated camp of the Americans. With so much address had the movement to Princeton been conducted, that though from the critical situation of the two armies every ear may be supposed to have been open, and every watchfulness to have been employed, yet Washington moved completely off the ground with his whole force, stores, baggage, and artillery, unknown to and unsuspected by his adversaries. The British in Trenton were so entirely deceived, that when they heard the l'eport of the artillery at Princeton, though it was in the depth of winter, they supposed it to be thunder.
The British, astonished at these bold movements of an enemy supposed to be vanquished, instantly fell back with their whole force, and abandoned every post they held to the southward of New-York, except Brunswick and Amhoy.
CAMPAIGN OF 1777.
Of the operations of General Washington in New Jersey and Penn.
sylvania, in the campaign of 1777.... The battles of Brandywine and Germ ntown.... Washington is advised by the Rev. Jacob Duche, to give up the contest l'he distresses of the American army.. Its winter quarters in Valley Forge., .Gen. Washington is assailed by the clamours of discontented individuals and public bodies, and by the designs of a faction to supersede him in his office as commander in chief,
THE victories at Trenton and Princeton produced the most extensive effects, and had a decided influence on subsequent events. Philadelphia was saved for that winter,
Jersey was recovered. The drooping spirits of the Americans were revived The gloomy apprehensions which had lately prevailed, of their being engaged in a hopeless cause, yielded to a confidence in their General and their arny, and in the ultimate success of their struggles for liberty and independence. So strong an impulse was given to the recruiting service in every part of the United States, as gave good ground to hope that the commander in chief would be enabled to take the field in the spring with a permanent regular army, on the new terms of inlistment.
After the campaign had been thus carried into the month of January, Washington retired to Morristown, that he might afford shelter to his suffering army. His situation there was far from being eligible. His force for some considerable time was triffing, when compared with that of the British; but the enemy and his own countrymen believed the contrary. Their deception was cherished and artfully continued by the parade of a large army. Washington placed his officers in positions of difficult access, and they kept up a constant communication with each other.This secured them from insult and surprise. While they covered the country, they harrassed the foraging parties of the British, and confined them to narrow limits.
The remainder of the winter season passed over in a light war of skirmishes. These were generally in favour of the Americans ; but Washington's views were much more extensive. He hoped that his country, encouraged by the late successes at Trenton and Princeton, would have placed at his disposal a large and efficient army, equal to that of the enemy. To obtain it, he urged with great earnestness the advantage of being enabled to undertake decisive operations before reinforcements to the British army should arrive. Congress, at his instance, passed the requisite resolutions ; but these could not be carried into ettect without the aid of the state legislatures. The delays incident to this slow mode of doing business, added to the recollection of the suffering of the troops in the last campaign, retarded the recruiting service. Washington with infinite reluctance was obliged to give up his favourite project of an early active campaign.
In the advance of the spring, when recruits were ob tained, a difficulty arose in assembling them from the dif
ferent states in which they had been inlisted. As the Bri. tish bad possession of the ocean, they could at pleasure transfer the war to any maritime portion of the union. Each state, anxious for its particular safety, claimed protection from the common army of the whole
Had they been indulged, the feeble remnant under the immediate direction of the commander in chief would have been un. equal to any great enterprise. To these partial calls he opposed all his authority and influence, and his pointed representations made an impression in favour of primary objects. These were to prevent the British from getting possession of Philadelphia, or the Highlands on the Hud.
Both were of so nearly equal importance to their interest, that it was impossible to ascertain which should be preferred by Sir William Howe. In this uncertainty, Washington made such an arrangement of his troops as would enable him to oppose either. The northern troops were divided between Ticonderoga and Peekskill; while those from Jersey and the south were encamped at Mid. dlebrook, near the Rariton. The American force collected at this strong and defensible encampment, was nominally between nine and ten thousand men; but the effective rank and file was about six thousand. A majority of these were raw recruits ; and a considerable number of such as had been inlisted in the middle states were foreigners or servants. To encourage the desertion of troops so slightly attached to the American cause, Gen. Howe offereil a reward to every soldier who would come over to his army, and an additional compensation to such as would bring their arms with them. To counteract these propositions, Washington recommended to Congress to give full pardon to all Americans who would relinquish the British service.
The campaign opened early in June on the part of the British, who advanced toward Philadelphia as far as Somerset county, in New Jersey; but they soon fell back to New Brunswick. After this retreat, Sir William Howe en. deavoured to provoke Washington to an engagement, and left no manoeuvre untried that was calculated to induce him to quit his position. At one time he appeared as if he intender to push on, without regarding the army opposed to him. At another, he accurately examined the situation of the American encampment; hoping that some unguard
ed part might be found on which an attack might be made that would open the way to a general engagement. All these hopes were frustrated. Washington knew the full value of his situation. He had too much penetration to lose it from the circumvention of military maneuvres, and too much temper to be provoked to a dereliction of it. He was well apprised it was not the interest of his country to commit its tune to a single action.
Sir William Howe suddenly relinquished his position in front of the Americans, and retired with his whole force to Amboy. The apparently retreating British were pursued by a considerable detachment of the American army, and Washington advanced from Middlebrook to Quibbletown, to be near åt hand for the support of his advanced parties. The British General immediately marched his army back from Amboy, with great expedition, hoping to bring on a general action on equal ground; but he was disappointed. Washington fell back, and posted his army in such an advantageous situation as compensated for the inferiority of his numbers. Sir William Howe was now fully convinced of the impossibility of compelling a general engagement on equal terms, and also satisfied that it would be too hazardous to attempt passing the Delaware while the country was in arms, and the main American army in full force in his rear.
He therefore returned to Amboy, and thence passed over to Staten Island, resolving to prosecute the objects of the campaign by an embarkation of his whole force at New York. During the period of these movements, the real designs of Gen. Howe were involved in obscurity. Though the season for military operations was advanced as far as the month of July, yet his determinate object could not be ascertained. Nothing on his part had hitherto taken place, but alternately advancing and retrealing: Washington's embarrassment on this account was increased by intelligence which arrived, that Burgoyne was advancing in great force toward New-York, from Canada. Apprehending that Sir William Howe would ultimately move up the North River, and that his movements which looked southwardly were feints, the American chief detached a brigade to reinforce the northern division of his army. Successive advices of the advance of Burgoyne favoured the idea that a junction of the two royal armies, ncar