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At the same time gen. Washington designed availingii78^ himself of Sir Henry's absence, by attacking New York. He had received considerable reinforcements, and suddenly crossed the North River and matched toward! Kings-bridge. Sir Henry perceiving what was intended, dropped his expedition to Rhode Island, and sailed for' New York on the 31st, after having lain several days in 31. Huntington bay. Gen. Washington proposed to gen. > Arnold his having a command in the designed attack on New York. The proposal threw him into no small confusion; but Washington had no suspicions raised by it, for though he thought him mercenary, he had not the least idea of his being wanting in fidelity. Arnold afterward made his objections to some of Washington's / suite, and urged his being lame as disqualifying him for activity in field duty. The objections being reported toLU2. the commander in chief, Arnold was ordered to proceed t 3' to West Point, and take the command of that post and i its dependencies.
We must now attend to an event, which could not be related in chronological order without disturbing the preceding narrative. Gen. Washington being informed, that there was a considerable number of cattle and horses on Bergen Neck, detached gen. Wayne, on the 20th of July, with the 1st and id Pennsylvania brigade, four pieces of artillery, and col. Moyland's regiment of dragoons to bring them off. He contemplated also the destruction of a block-house, which gave security to a body of refugees, who committed depredations on the well affected inhabitants for miles round. Wayne having provided against the enemy's intercepting his retreat, and sent down the cavalry to drive off the stock, proceeded
i78o. ceeded to the block-house, which was surrounded with an abbatis and stockade. He tried the effects of his field pieces; but found them too light to penetrate the logs. The troops being galled the mean while, by a constant fire from the loop holes of the house, and.feeing no chance of making a 1 breach with the cannon, two regiments rushed through the abbatis to the foot of the stockade, with a view of forcing an entrance, which was impracticable. This intemperate valor occasioned the loss of 3 officers wounded, 15 non-commissioned and privates killed, and 46 non-commissioned and privates wounded. The stock in the mean time was driven off.
Let us now turn our eyes to South Carolina and its neighbourhood: where the British troops spread themselves, and plundered foy system, forming a general stock, and appointing commissaries of captures. Spoil thus collected was disposed of for the benefit of the royal army. The quantity brought to market was so great, that though it sold uncommonly low, yet the dividend of a major general was upward of four thousand British guineas. The private plunder of individuals, on their separate account, was often more than their proportion of the public stock. Over and above what was sold in Carolina, several vessels were sent abroad to market, loaded with rich spoil taken from the inhabitants. Upward of two thousand negroes were shipped off at one embarkation.
When Charlestown had surrendered, the next object with the British was to secure the general submission of the inhabitants. To this end they posted garrisons in different parts of the country, and marched a large body
of troops over the Santee toward that extremity of the »780' state, which borders on the most populous settlements of North Carolina. This caused an immediate retreat of some American parties, that had advanced into the upper parts of South Carolina, with the expectation of relieving Charlestown. The total rout or capture of all the southern continental troops in the state, together with the universal panic occasioned by the surrender of the capital, suspended for about six weeks, all military opposition to the progress of the British army.
Sir H. Clinton, a week before the defeat of colonel Buford by Tarleton, had in a proclamation denounced vengeance against those of the inhabitants, who should continue, by force of arms, to oppose the re-establish-june \ ment of British government. On the 1st os June, he '* and adm. Arbuthnot, as commissioners for restoring peace to the revolted colonies, offered, by proclamation, I . to the inhabitants, with a few exceptions, pardon for past offences, and a reinstatement in the possession of all the rights and immunities they had heretofore enjoyed under a free British government, exempt from taxation, except by their own legislature, as soon as the situation of the province would admit. These offers, in the present situation of affairs, induced the people in the country to abandon all schemes of further resistance. The militia to the southward of Charlestown sent in a flag to the British commanding officer at Beaufort, and obtained terms similar to those granted to the inhabitants of the capital. At Camden the inhabitants met the British with a flag, and negotiated for themselves. The people of Ninety Six assembled to deliberate what course they stiould take. Being informed that the British were advancing,
1780. vancing, they sent a flag to the commanding officer, from whom they learned, that Sir H. Clinton had delegated full powers to capt. Richard Pearis to treat with them. Articles were proposed and soon after ratified, by which they were promised the same security for their persons and property which British subjects enjoyed. They submitted under a mistaken opinion, that agreeable to a proclamation previous to the surrender of Charlestown, they were to be either neutrals or prisoners on parole. Excepting the extremities of the state bordering on North Carolina, the inhabitants continuing in the country preferred submission to resistance.
Sir H. Clinton, about the time that Charlestown surrendered, received intelligence, that a large number of land forces and a French fleet, commanded by M. de Ternay, might soon be expected on the American coast. I This induced him to reimbark for New York early in / June, with the greatest part of his army, which otherwise was to have remained, and been employed in the conquest of the adjacent states. But before he sailed, all the inhabitants of the province, and prisoners upon parole, and not in the military line (excepting those June taken by capitulation, or in confinement at the surrender 3* of Charlestown) were, by proclamation os June the 3d, freed from all such paroles from and after the 20th of the month; and in cafe of their afterward neglecting to return to their allegiance and his majesty's government, were to be considered as enemies and rebels to the fame, and to be treated accordingly. It was designed, by this arbitrary change of their relative condition, to oblige them, without their consent, to take an active part in settling and securing the royal government. Prior to
this proclamation, the submission of the South Carolina 1780. inhabitants was accepted on easy terms. All, with a few exceptions, on applying, obtained either paroles as prisoners, or protections as British subjects: the latter were required to subscribe a declaration of their allegiance to the king; this however was frequently omitted in the hurry of business. An unusual calm followed. But the proclamation produced astonishment and confusion; especially as the parties referred to were required to enrol themselves as militia, under the royal standard. Numbers, considering themselves as released from their parole by the proclamation, conceived that they had a right to arm against the British; and were induced so to do, from the very menace used against them, that they who did not enrol themselves as British subjects, must expect to be treated as enemies. Many more however, for convenience, exchanged their paroles for protections, and enrolled themselves as militia; several undoubtedly with an intention of breaking through the compulsory tie, as soon as a proper opportunity presented.
"When Sir H. Clinton departed from Charlestown, lord Cornwallis was left in command with about 4000 men, who were deemed fully sufficient for extending the British conquests, after the adoption of the above measures to oblige the inhabitants of the country to be active in securing the royal government now established. On the 5 th, two days before he sailed, two hundred and ten of the principal inhabitants, congratulated him and the admiral upon their successes. The greater part of them had been in arms against the British during the siege, and a few had been leaders in the popular government. Vol. III. C c In