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OF THE 5777• commodore being at the distance of more than a milc.
The British, after that unsuccessful attack, applied themselves to the strengthening of their batteries on fhore, and nightly sent up their boats with provision to the city, by the passage between Mud and Province islands, while the commodore absolutely refused attempting to prevent them, upon the plea that a single bomb from the enemy would destroy any of his gallies. There came three or four days of uncommon high tides, which drowned some of the British, and hindered their working any of their guns, except one howitzer. This opportunity of annoying them considerably, was not duly improved by the gallies, On the decrease of the tides, the British renewed their fire with double vigor, and soon deitroyed the American two gun battery, blew up the north-west block-house and laboratory, and compelled the garrison to seek cover in the fort. Col. Smith, after having defended it from the latter end of September, till the 11th of November, a few days excepted, was wounded by a spent cannon shot, and greatly bruised by the bricks it threw on him, which occasioned his removal to the main. His fatigues and dangers had been extreme; and he supported them with uncommon patience and fortitude. Upon his removal the command devolved on lieut, col. Russel of the Connecticut line, but he being exhausted with fatigue, and totally destitute of health, requested to be recalled. Upon the 12th, the commander in chief signified his arders to the commanding general on the Jersey fide, who directed all the military operations below Philadelphia, “ to defend Mud-island, as long as polible, without facrificing the garrison,”? The commanding general, for insuperable
reasons, reasons, could not detach an officer in rotation. Major 1777.
Thayer, of the Rhode Inand line, presented himself a volunteer, and was appointed. · The British having every thing in readiness, the Isis and Somerset men of war pass up the eaft channel to attack the works on Mud-island in front; several frigate's draw up against an American fort newly erected on the Jersey fide, situated fo as to flank the men of war in their station; and two armed vefsels, the Vigilant, an East Indiaman cut down to a battery of 20 twenty-four pounders on one side, and a hulk with 3 twenty-four pounders, successfully make their way through a narrow channel on the western side, a matter of the greatest importance, as these two vefsels, in concert with the batteries on Province-island, enfilade the principal works,
Nov. on Mud-island. On the morning of the i5th, the whole 15, British fire is displayed from their land batteries, and their shipping in the river. The small garrison of 300 men sustain and repel the shock with astonishing intre pidity, for several hours, assisted by the American gallies and the batteries on the Jersey shore. By the mids dle of the day their defences are levelled with the coma mon mud, and the officers and men expect each other's fate, in the midst of carnage. During the day more than 1030 discharges of cannon, from thirty-two to twelve pounders, are made in twenty minutes, from the batteries and shipping of both sides, Early in the even ing, major Thayer sends all his garrison afhore, except: ing forty, with whom he remains, braving all danger, At twelve at night, many of the military stores having been previously fent away, the barracks are fired, when B 4
1777. the major and his few brave companions quit, and cross ..to Red-bank *. . .
In this affair there were near two hundred and fifty of the garrison killed and wounded. . Three councils of war had been called upon the subject of relieving Fort Mifflin; and in the last, it was concluded to attempt it, though it was believed that a general engagement would be the consequence: this however the Americans did not regard, the ground being such as they wished, if called to fight the enemy. The night before the attempt could be made, the fort was of necessity evacuated. The congress, before this event, had voted lieut. col. Smith an elegant sword for the gallant defence he had made on the 22d of October ; but as they had voted at the fame time, the like to commodore Hazlewood, commander of the naval force in the Delaware, he did not think himself much honored by it, and declined the present. Men of courage and judgment pronounce the commodore a poltron; and fay that if all the officers in the marine department had behaved with equal bravery to what the land officers did, the fort would not have been raken. Several of them are reckoned to have acted a daftardly part. It was observed of Hazlewood, that he was fond of long shot, and was shy of coming to close quarters. The reduction of the fort fecured to the Bri: tish the safe opportunity of sending up their small craft, at the back of the island, to the Schuylkill with provisions and stores, by day as well as by night.
* See James M. Varnum's letter of August the second, 1786, in the Providence Gazette, who was the commanding general on the Jersey fide.
On' U T'ION. On the 18th at night, lord Cornwallis marched with 1770 a considerable force, and the next day crossed the Delaware, in his way to Red-bank, which the Americans abandoned, leaving behind them their artillery and a considerable quantity of cannon-ball. Some continental generals were appointed to give their opinion upon the spot to col. Greene. They favored an evacuation, and wished that he would join them. He answered, " I shall follow your direction either to evacuate or defend the fort. I know what we have done, when the works were not half completed. Now they are finished, and I am not afraid.” But the direction was to evacuate, which was complied with, though with manifest reluctance. The marquis de la Fayette accompanied gen. Greene into Jersey, though his wound was not yet healed; and Nor! on the 25th of November, with only a handful of 25. riflemen and militia, attacked a party of Hessians and British grenadiers, which he obliged to retreat. After this, congress refolved that he should take the command ! of a division in the army. svi
The American shipping having now lost all protection, several of the gallies and other armed vessels, took the advantage of a favorable night, kept close in with the Jersey shore, passed the batteries of Philadelphia, and escaped to places of security higher up. The remaining seventeen finding an escape impracticable, were abandoned by the crews and fired. The British however confessed, that the long and unexpected opposition which they received from Red-bank and Mud-island, broke in upon their plans for the remainder of the campaign.
1977. A detachment from the northern army, of soine of
the New England brigades, was ordered down to join