« ZurückWeiter »
about seventy miles further up the Mississippi. The in- i77g. habitants in them and the neighbouring country made no difficulty of transferring their allegiance, which they would reasonably conclude could not be refused with safety, as they might naturally imagine the enemy was in force, being in the heart of the country: the dangerous situation of this small corps in the inner part of the Indian territory, at the back of some of the most cruel and hostile tribes, in the track of many others, and more or less in the way of all, was converted to peculiar advantage, by the extraordinary activity and unwearied spirit of the commander. He directed and timed his attacks with such judgment, and executed them with such silence and dispatch, that the Indians found their own mode of war effectually turned upon them. Surprised in their inmost retreats, and most sequestered recesses, at those, times and seasons, when they were scarcely less disposed for action, than unprepared for defence, they experienced in their own wigwams and samilies, that unexpected slaughter and destruction, which they had so frequently carried home to others. Upon this they grew cautious and timid; and the continual danger to which their samilies were exposed, damped the ardor of their warriors for hostile expeditions.
Sir Henry Clinton, on the return of the troops from the Bedford expedition, determined upon another to Egg harbour, on the Jersey coast, where the Americans had a number of privateers and prizes, and some considerable salt works. To draw away the attention of the Americans, and to procure at the same time forage and fresh provisions for the army, lord Cornwallis advanced into Jersey with a strong body of troops, while gen. sou III. O Knyp
1778, Knyphauscn advancing with another division of the army, took a position on the east fide of the North Rivery « by which only the two divisions were separated; so that by means of their boats they could unite their whole force on either side of it, within twenty-four hours. Lieut. col. Baylor's regiment of light horse, with some militia, were detached to watch and interrupt the foragers. The colonel, it is to be feared, in order to avoid being under gen. Wynd's command, went with his men into the mouth of the British, and there lay in a state of un-. soldiery security, which induced lord Cornwallis to form a plan for surprising the whole. Gen. Grey, with the light infantry and some other troops, advanced by night on the left to surprise the enemy on that side, and a detachment was made from Knyphausen's corps on the right, which having passed the North River, intended so to have enclosed the whole American force employed in watching them, as that few or none of them should have escaped. Some deserters from the column on- the right prevented the completion of the scheme. These having at the most critical moment roused the militia who lay at New Taapan under gen. Wynd, afforded them the opportunity of escaping. But Grey conducted his division with such silence and order, that they not
Sept. onty cut 0^ a fergcant'S patrol of twelve men without 27. noise, but completely surrounded Old Taapan without any discovery, and surprised B ay lor's horse asleep and naked in the barns where they lay. A severe execution took place, and numbers were dispatched with the bayonet. The men being so completely surprised, and incapable of resistance, the refusal of quarter when implored, has led congress to deem the execution a massacre, after re'.. * ceiving ceiving the best information upon oath, that they could 177*. obtain concerning it. Of about a dozen wounded soldiers who appeared to give evidence, three had received from nine to eleven stabs each, of bayonets, in the breast, back and trunk of the body, beside several wounds in other parts. Two others had received, the one five, and the other six stabs in the body. However the admiration of some, who reason from the nature of the weapon and the manner in which it is used, may be excited at these men being able in about three weeks time to give their testimony, as also being seemingly in a fair way of recovery; yet the positive evidence given upon oath before gov. Livingston, whose penetration would have detected, and whose integrity would have discarded a false witness, will be credited by impartial persons. Baylor himself was wounded, but not dangerously; he lost in killed, wounded and taken, 67 privates out of 104, beside 70 horses. It is said, that Grey ordered no quarter to be given, and that the charges were drawn, and the flints taken out; but that one of the light infantry captains ventured to disobey the order, and gave quarter to the whole fourth troop, which serves to account for the number of prisoners taken and carried to New York, viz. 39 privates, beside a captain, two subalterns, a volunteer, and the surgeon's mate.
Captain Ferguson of the 70th regiment, with about 300 land forces, were detached on the expedition to Little Egg harbour, under a proper convoy. They arrived off" the bar on the evening of the 5th of October. The OctAmericans had obtained some intelligence of the design, S* and had suddenly sent out to sea, such of their privateers as were in any degree of readiness, to escape the
'. O a. impend
iftt. impending danger. The larger of the remaining vessels, chiefly prizes, were hauled up the river to Chesnut-neck about twenty miles from its mouth. Th« smaller privateers and craft of different sizes, were carried still further up into the country. The detachment proceeded to Chefnut-neck, burnt the vessels found there, and destroyed the settlements, storehouses and Works of every fort, to prevent all privateers being fitted out from thence for the future. On their return they made excursions into the neighbouring country, destroyed some considerable salt works, as well as the houses and settlements of several persons, who had taken a conspicuously active part on the side of America, or had been concerned in the fitting out of privateers.
When the troops had rejoined the squadron, a French captain with some privates, who had deserted from count Pulaski's legion, gave such an account of the careless manner in which three troops of horse and as many companies of infantry were cantoned, at only a sew miles distance, that the commanding officers by sea and land concluded on an expedition to beat up their quarters. They had the advantage of conveying the troops by water to within a small distance of their destination; the deserters also informed them of an un-guarded bridge, the possession of which would serve in. case of necessity, e£,,„ sectuatty to cover their retreat back to the vessels. Two 15. hundred and fifty men were embarked, who after rowing ten miles, landed long before day light within a mile of the bridge, which they secured; and leaving a guard in possession of it, the remainder .pushed on and completely surprised Pulaski's light infantry, and destroyed about 50 of then?, among whom'was the ba«>n de Bose and lieutenant de la Borderie. The attack being in the night, 1778. little quarter could be given; more would probably have been granted, had not the deserters falsely reported, that Pulafld had issued public orders forbidding his corps to grant any quarter to the British troops. The (laughter would not have ended so soon, if Pulaski had not on the first alarm hastened with his cavalry to support the infantry, which then kept a good countenance. The British not long after made a hasty retreat, and returned to their boats. %
Let me pass from hence to relate a disagreeable dis-.' turbance that happened in Charlestown, South Carolina, on the night of September the 6th. By some means a e^' quarrel commenced on shore between the American and French sailors, when the former made use of indecent, illiberal, and national reflections against the latter, which provoked resentment. Tlie parties soon proceeded to open hostilities, when the French were driven from the town, and betook themselves to their shipping, whence they fired with cannon and small arms, which was returned by the Americans from the adjoining wharfs and shore. Several lives were lost, and many were wounded. The inhabitants were much alarmed, and the militia were obliged to be under arms a great part of the night. Proper measures were afterward taken to prer Vent a repetition of the like disorders; and both the president and assembly expressed their deep concern, that the slightest animosities should prevail between any citizen of America, and the subjects of their illustrious and good ally.
In the evening of the 8th, there was a violent astray 8. at Boston between certain unknown persons and a num
O 3 ber