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meet Lincoln. On March the ad, the officer of the i77g. day reported, that reconnoitring parties of the enemy's horse and foot had been seen within their picquets the night preceding. Ashe returned the, evening of the ad Mar. to camp. On Wednesday the 3d, nothing was in forwardness for repairing the bridge which Campbell had destroyed in his return downward, though it had been reported five days before, that the repair would take up but six hours. About two in the afternoon, information was given, that one of their soldiers had six balls shot through his body; little or no notice was taken of it. Within an hour after, an account was brought, that 500 British regulars were at the ferry. At half past four a few of the American horsemen returned from skirmishing with the enemy, when orders were issued for the troops to be formed into platoons from the right, and composed into a column: it was not long before the British light insantry appeared. Lieut. col. Prevost, after a circuitous march of about 50 miles, in which he crossed Briar Creek 15 miles above Ashe's encampment, came unexpectedly on his rear with a detachment of about 900 men, including some horse. Upon the appearance of the British light insantry, Ashe said to Elbert, who commanded the continentals—" Sir, you had better advance and engage them." They did not exceed 100 rank and file, but upon Elbert's ordering them, they formed, advanced thirty yards in front of the enemy, and commenced a very sharp fire on them, which continued about fifteen minutes. Ashe and the North Carolina militia remained about 100 yards in the rear entirely inactive. Instead of advancing to support the continentals, they were struck with such a panic at being so com
J779'pletely surprised, that they went to the right about, and fled in confusion without discharging a single musket. The sew Georgia regulars finding themselves thus' deserted, and being surrounded by a great part of the enemy, broke and endeavoured also to escape. Elbert did every thing to rally them but in vain. He and the survivors of his brave corps were made prisoners. About 150 Americans were killed, and 161 were captured. None had any chance of escaping but by crossing the river, in attempting which many were drowned: of those who got over safe, a great part returned home, and never more rejoined the American camp; the number that joined it, did not exceed 450 men. This event deprived gen. Lincoln of one fourth of his number, secured to the British the possession of Georgia, and opened a communication between them, the Indians, and the tories of South and North Carolina.
Toward the end of the last year, an American camp was formed at Danbury, the sufferings it underwent you may collect from the following passage in the letter of a field officer of January 23d.—" We were not under cover, till the beginning of the present year. It was distressing to fee our officers and men in tents in such severe cold weather. Added to which, and the former list of grievances, was the want of provisions. From .six to nine days were our men frequently without bread. A revolt took place in general Huntington's brigade: 400 men got under arms, and marched off the ground to an advantageous post, where they expected to have been joined by the men of the other two brigades; but by the alacrity of the officers and gen. Putnam's influence, they were dispersed."
An expedition has been agreed'on against the inimical *779* Indians of the six nations. The command of it is to be intrusted with gen. Sullivan. The plan is to divide the force' into three parts. The principal consisting of about 3000 is to go by the way of Susquehanna. Another of about 1000 is to enter the Indian country by the Mohawk river; and the other of about 500 is to attack by the Ohio and Allegahany rivers, Gen. Washington is endeavouring, by appearances of an expedition to Canada, to induce the British governor to keep his force at home; and with a view to it, beside jealousies which have been excited on the side of lake Champlain, he is trying to create others by the way of Coos. A con*siderable number of Americans was employed the last year in cutting a road from thence toward Canada. Col. Hazen is now gone with his regiment to extend the road toward the Sorel, and give the appearance of an intention to invade the province by that passage. The American army are better clad and more healthy than they have ever been since the formation of the army.
The procuring of early afid good intelligence is of the highest importance to the American commander in chief. He has therefore directed one of his confidential correspondents to reside at New York, to mix with and put on the airs of a tory, thereby to cover his real character and avoid suspicion. He has hinted to him an intimacy with some well informed refugee. Members of congress are not trusted with the names of such correspondents, concerning whom the strictest honor, and the profoundest secrecy, is observed, and every precaution taken to prevent a discovery by1 unforeseen accidents. They are furnished with two chymical liquids,
1779. or sympathetic inks, the one for writing, and the other for rendering what is written visible; the former of that nature as not to become visible by any mean whatever, but by having the latter rubbed over it.
The king'* speech on opening the session of parliament, has been circulated through the United States more than a month ago. The popular leaders have been diverting themselves with it. They triumph at observing, that it is replete with complaints of the unexampled and unprovoked hostility of the court of France —that while the professions of neutral powers are represented as friendly, their armaments are mentioned as suspicious—and that there is a total silence with regard to the American war.
A number of loyal refugees had petitioned, and been permitted by Sir Henry Clinton to embody under proper officers, and to retaliate and make reprisals upon the Americans declared to be in actual rebellion against their sovereign. A party of them, who had formerly belonged to the Massachusetts, made an attempt upon Falmouth in Barnstable county, but were repulsed by . ., the militia. They renewed it, but not succeeding, went 5. off to Nantucket, and landed 200 men, entered the town, broke open warehouses, and carried off large quantities of oil, whalebone, molasses, sugar, coffee, and every thing that fell in their way. They also carried off two brigs, loaded for the West Indies, two or three schooners, and a large number of boats. In a proclamation they left behind, they took notice of their having been imprisoned, compelled to abandon their dwellings, friends and connections, had their estates sequestered, and been themselves formally banished, never to return on pain
of of death. Thus circumstanced, they conceived them- »778' selves warranted, by the laws of God and man, to wage war against their persecutors, and to use every mean in their power to obtain compensation for their sufferings.
The news of the French king's declaration of war, published at Martinico in the middle of last August, but signed at Versailles the 28th of June, and the capture of Dominica by the French, reached the continent as early as could be expected. By the accounts that are given, the British government had been at an unusual expence in fortifying that island, and the works had been lately covered with a numerous artillery, sent from Britain for the purpose. But though there were 160 pieces of cannon and 20 mortars, the regular troops who composed the garrison amounted only to about a hundred. Neither the importance nor the weakness of Dominica, escaped the attention of the marquis de Bouille, governor general of the French windward islands, whose residence was at Martinico. He therefore landed on the island with about 2000 men, under cover of some frigates and privateers, about day break of last September the 7th, and proceeded to attack the different batteries and forts by land, as his marine force did by sea. The handful of regulars, with the militia and inhabitants in general, did all that could be expected, but defence was fruitless, so that the lieutenant governor Stuart, to save the inhabitants from plunder and ruin, entered into a ca- * pitulation, which was soon concluded. The terms were the most moderate that could be conceived; the marquis> out of his great humanity, having nearly agreed, without discussion or reserve, to every condition proposed in favor of the people, whose only change was that of sovereignty.