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i779*was not avesse to engaging in such a service as Lee mentioned the cabinet to have determined upon, is inferred from the animosity he has to those who are attached to the American cause. He was however stopped from all further progress, by an order from Sir H. Clinton for the return of the-fleet and troops. Some real or expected movement in the American army might produce such an order.
No sooner did gen. Washington observe how Sir H. Clinton had strengthened the posts of Stoney-point and Verplank, than he entertained the design of attacking them. Toward the end of June, he ordered that a trusty intelligent person should be employed to go into
$. the works of the first: and on the 8th of July, he was informed by a deserter, that there was a sandy beach, on the south side of it, running along the flank of the works, and only obstructed by a slight abbatis, which might afford an easy and safe approach to a body of troops. He formed plans for attacking both posts at the same instant; the executions of which were intrusted with gen. Wayne and gen. Howe. All the Massachu.fetts light insantry marched from West-point under lieut. col. Hull, in the morning of the 15th, and joined Wayne at Sandy-beach, 14 miles from Stoney-point. The general moved off the ground at twelve o'clock. The roads being exceedingly bad and narrow, and the troops having to pass over high mountains, through difficult defiles and deep morasses, were obliged to move in single files the greatest part of the way. This and the great heat of the day, occasioned such delay, that it was eight in the evening ere the van arrived within a mile and a- half of the enemy, where the men formed into columns, and remained till several of the principal1779* officers, with gen. Wayne, retained from reconnoitring' the works. At half after eleven o'clock, the whole moved forward, the.van of the right consisting of 150 volunteers, under lieut. col. Fleury, the van ofthe left, consisting of 100 volunteers, under major Stewart, each with unloaded muskets and fixed bayonets, preceded by a, brave, and determined officer, with-twenty picked men, to. remove the abbatis and other obstructions. The last and the overflowing, of the morass in front, by the tide, prevented the assault's commencing till about 20 minutes after twelve. Previous to it, Wayne placed himself at \e. the head of the right column, and gave the troops the most pointed orders not to fire on any account, but placetheir whole dependence on the bayonet, which orderwas saithfully obeyed. Such wasthe ardor of the troops, that, in. the sace of a most tremendous and incessant fire of musketry, and from cannon loaded with grape shot, they forced their way at the. point of- the bayonet, through every obstacle, and both Columns met in the centre of the enemy's works nearly at-the same^instant. Fleury struck their standard with his own'hand. Notwithstanding the provocations given by the plunderings and burnings at New Haven, East Haven, Fairfield and Green-farms, of which they-had heard, such was the humanity of the continental soldiers, that they scorned to take the lives of the foe calling for mercy, so that there were but fewof the enemy killedupon the occasion. Great is the triumph of the Americans upon the success of this enterprise; and justly, for it would have done honor to the most, veteran troops. Wayne had but 15 killed, and 83 wounded, not above 30 of-whom 1 'will
1779-will be finally lost to the service. The general himself received a flight wound in the head with a musket ball; but it did not prevent his going on with the troops; and he is not included in the wounded. The enemy had only 63 killed. Lieut. col. Johnson, who commanded the sort, with other officers and privates, amounting to 543, were made prisoners. ; The attack upon Verplank, intrusted with gen. Howe, miscarried partly through delays occasioned by high winds, which prevented the timely transportation os artillery; but chiefly through the troops neglecting to take axes with them. The enemy, upon their approach, broke down all the bridges, and thereby cut off the Communication by land. Before Howe could receive the means for constructing temporary bridges, Sir H. Clinton marched up troops sufficient to save the place. Gen. Washington not being in sufficient force to hold possession of Stoney-Point, resolved upon the removal of the cannon and stores, and upon the destruction of the works; which were accomplished with all dispatch. About a week before, a certain officer, whose station gave him. the opportunity of catching deserters from the American camp, was so enraged at their being very numerous, that he informed the general he would cut off the head of the next that fell into his hands : the general wrote immediately, and prohibited such execution; but it had taken place ere the letter was received, and the head was forwarded to gen. Washington. He was shocked at receiving it, and also greatly alarmed from an apprehension of its exciting a general disgust and uneasiness among the people at large, should it be known. Express orders were given to the officer to conduct him
sejf properly for the suture; his rashness.:was,ascerward *779' atoned for in measure, by his contributing much to the success of the enterprise against Stoney-point.
Congress unanimously resolved upon thanks to gen. July Washington, for the vigilance, wisdom and magnanimity, with which he had conducted the military operations of the states, and manifested particularly in his orders for the above enterprise. They .also thanked gen. Wayne for his brave, prudent and soldierly conduct, in his spirited and well conducted attack. They highly commended the coolness, discipline and firm intrepidity os the officers and soldiers. They took proper notice of lieut. col. Fleury and major Stewart; and warmly applauded lieut. Gibbons and lieut. Knox, who led on the forlorn hope, and preceded the vans of the two columns, and gave to each a brevet of captain. . They further resolved, that a medal emblematical of the action be struck, and that one of gold be presented to gen. Wayne, and a silver one to both Fleury and Stewart; and that the value of the military stores taken be ascertained and divided among the troops, by whom Stoney-point was reduced.
Being brought to mention congress, let me detail some of their further proceedings.
The first commissary general, col. Joseph Trumbull, is no more; his decease has been thought to have been brought on by the proceedings of congress relative to M him; they however resolved, that with great care, in- 30." dustry, labor and attention, he instituted a plan by which the.army, during his continuance in office, was amply supplied with much ceconomy, and to general satisfaction; and that certain allowances should be made for
1779} the benefit of' his legal representatives. They resolved, £ "Thaf suspicions and animosities have arisen among the late and present commissioners, namely, Doctor B. Franklin,. Mr. Silas Deane, Mr. Arthur Lee, Mr. Ralph Izard^and Mr. William Lee, highly prejudicial to the honor and interest of the United States. It was resolved, 27. that the president inform the commander in chief, that if he wants specie for secret services, he may draw to the amount of 2000 guineas upon the treasurer, who will pay the same.—Bills prepared by the committee of the treasury on doctor Franklin, in favor of the committee of commerce, for the slim of 360,000 livres tournois, for the purpose of importing military stores, were orjune dered to be signed by the president; arid it was resolved, 10. "That the faith of the United States be pledged to make good any contract or engagement which shall be entered into by their minister plenipotentiary at the court of France;- for procuring money or credit to enable him to honor the said' bills, and provide for their punctual discharge." The next day it was agreed to "borrow twenty-millions of continental dollar's, at an interest of six per cent. per annum. Three days after, it was rer. solved upon the report of a committee, "That congress are satisfied with the conduct of doctor John Morgan while acting as director general and physician in chief in the general hospitals of the United States; and 14-. that'this resolution be published." Congress in a letter of "congratulation to his most christian majesty on the J birth of a princess, fay among. other things—" Permit us to request the favor of your majesty to oblige us with portraits of yourself and royal consort, that by being placed in our council chamber, the representatives of ^J^:" these