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The rest, with the British horse, had made good their escape. Aware that he could not hold Trenton against the superior force which could be concentrated there in a few hours, Washington recrossed the Delaware with his prisoners and spoils. He had lost but four men, two of whom were frozen to death. This brilliant achievement restored the courage of his men and the confidence of the people. Howe, in alarm, ordered Cornwallis, who was on the point of embarking for England, back to New Jersey. Congress invested Washington with extraordinary powers, gave him the absolute control of the war, and endeavored to carry out the measures he suggested. Fourteen hundred soldiers, whose terms were about expiring, were induced to remain six weeks longer by a bounty of $10 apiece.

327. Four days after this victory, Washington again crossed the Delaware, and took post at Trenton. On the 2d of January, 1777, news was received that Cornwallis was approaching with a powerful force. After some skirmishing, the Americans fell back, and, night coming on, both parties rested on their arms (see Map, p. 233]. Washington did not like either to hazard an engagement, or, by a retreat, to leave Philadelphia exposed to the enemy. He therefore conceived the bold design of marching by a circuitous route to Princeton, and surprising the British force stationed at that place. Leaving his fires burning, he silently withdrew his men, and early on the morning of the 3d of January reached Princeton,

The surprise would have been complete, had not the Americans met a brigade of the enemy already on the march for Trenton. An engagement took place, and the American van, under Gen. Mercer, having no bayonets, was driven back. The British pursued, but at this moment Washington came up, and placed himself between his flying troops and the advancing enemy. Col. Fitzgerald, his aide, thinking that the

What was the effect of this achievement on the Americans, on the British, and on Congress? How were 1,400 soldiers induced to remain ? 327. On the 28th of December, what did Washington do? A few days after, what news was received? What did the Americans do? [See Map, p. 233.-What position did the Americans take, January 2d? What place was on the Princeton road ?] What bold design was conceived by Washington? How was the surprise prevented ? Give an account of the engagement. What story is told of Washing

did he lose ?




general's death was certain, drew his hat over his face that he might not see him fall. A roar of musketry followed, and Fitzgerald's heart almost ceased to beat as he looked up to ascertain the fate of his commander. To his joy, his beloved chief was uninjured. The British were repulsed, but the Americans sustained a heavy loss in the fall of Gen. Mercer. He was trying to rally his men on foot, when he was struck to the ground and surrounded by the enemy. Refusing to ask for quarter, he defended himself with his sword, till he received a mortal wound from a British bayonet.

The first intimation received by Cornwallis of his adversary's successful manœuvre, was the distant roar of cannon. Mortified at having been out-generalled, he hastened to the field of battle, but arrived too late. Washington had achieved a victory, and retired. The Americans, completely exhausted by want of sleep and their late exertions, at length reached Morristown in safety, and there Washington established his winter-quarters. The British lost about 400, killed, wounded, and captured in the battle of Princeton; the Americans, one-fourth of that number.

328. Cornwallis proceeded to New Brunswick, but was assailed on the route by hostile parties, who hung on his rear, cut off stragglers, and embarrassed his movements. The brutal outrages of the invaders, particularly the Hessians, from which not even the loyalists were exempt, awakened general indignation and led many to take arms against them. Several expeditions were sent out by Washington, which resulted in the recovery of the greater part of New Jersey; New Brunswick and Amboy being at last the only posts held by the British. A scarcity of tents and blankets occasioned for a time great distress in the American camp;

but this was relieved by a generous contribution from the people of Philadelphia. ton's exposure ? Who gained the victory? Mercer's fall. What was Cornwallis's first intimation of Washington's movement? What did he do? Where did Washington fix his winter-quarters ? What was the loss on both sides in the battle of Princeton ? 328. What is said of Cornwallis's march to New Brunswick? What led many to take up arms against the British? To what posts in Jersey were the British at last confined? What occasioned distress in the American camp? How was it relieved ?

Relate the circumstances of Gen.




There was

329. In March, 1776, Congress had sent Silas Deane, of Connecticut, to solicit the aid of France. He was joined by Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee. The French court, always hostile to England, listened to the American commissioners with respectful attention, but hesitated to lend any open assistance to a cause whose chance of success seemed so slender. Aid, however, was secretly furnished. More than 20,000 stands of arms and 1,000 barrels of powder reached America in the course of the ensuing year.

The nobility of France generally looked on the movements of the American people as a rebellion against their lawful sovereign; and, though they heartily disliked England, they felt little sympathy with the republican cause. one among them, however, a young captain of dragoons, who believed the people right in resisting oppression and viewed their struggles with admiration. This was the Marquis de La Fayette [lah--et']. At an entertainment given to a brother of the English king, he first heard of the Declaration of Independence. Its arguments carried conviction to his heart; and, though allured by brilliant prospects at home, and just married to a woman whom he tenderly loved, he devoted himself to a cause which he felt to be as just as it seemed hopeless. Promised by Mr. Deane a commission as major-general in the United States army, La Fayette determined to set out at once. But there were difficulties in the way. His family objected to his going; the British minister opposed it; and the king withheld his permission. The young marquis, however, was not to be deterred by such obstacles. Purchasing a vessel, he escaped the officers sent

329. Who were sent to France to solicit aid for the United States? What was the result of their efforts ? How did the French nobility generally feel towards the Americans ? Who is mentioned as an exception? Where did La Fayette first hear of the Declaration of Independence? What resolve did he at once




to detain him, and, with De Kalb and a few others who sympathized with America, arrived at Charleston. He received the promised commission in July, 1777, before completing his twentieth year. His acquaintance with Washington commenced a few days after, and ripened into a firm and uninterrupted friendship.

330. Towards the close of April, 1777, Gov. Tryon was sent from New York with 2,000 men, to destroy some American stores collected at Danbury, Conn. He accomplished the work, and, on his return to the coast, gratified his malice by plundering the inhabitants and devastating the country. A body of militia hastily assembled under Generals Wooster, Arnold, and Silliman, and handled the marauders so roughly that they were glad to reach their boats. Tryon lost about 300 men;

the Americans, one-fifth as many. Gen. Wooster, though a man of seventy, fought with all the vigor of youth, and was mortally wounded. Arnold received the fire of a whole platoon at a distance of thirty yards, but escaped uninjured.

331. Soon after this, Colonel Meigs retaliated, by crossing from Connecticut and burning 12 British vessels and a large quantity of stores at Sag Harbor, near the eastern extremity of Long Island. He brought back ninety prisoners, without the loss of a single man.

332. Another exploit, in Rhode Island, showed no little daring. The command of the British forces in that quarter devolved on Gen. Prescott, whose tyranny excited the indignation of the inhabitants. Feeling secure in the presence of a large naval force in the bay, he fixed his quarters, with a small guard, about five miles from Newport. Lieutenantcolonel Barton, of Providence, having received from a deserter a full description of the place, set out with 40 brave men, on the night of July 10th, 1777, to capture the British

What rank was promised La Fayette ? What difficulties stood in the way of his going? How did he conquer them? When did he obtain his commission? How was he received by Washington ? 330. What expedition was undertaken by the British towards the close of April ? Give an account of the manner in which the invaders were met. What was the loss on each side? 331. Give an account of Meigs's expedition. 332. Who commanded the British forces in Rhode Island ? What is said of his conduct ? Where had he fixed his quar


general. Rowing silently past the enemy's camp, so near that they heard the call of the guard, they landed about a mile from Prescott's lodgings, and proceeded thither with all speed. A British sentinel demanded the countersign. “We have none,” replied Barton,“ but have you seen any deserters here to-night?” The sentinel supposed the party to be friends, and before he perceived his mistake was seized, disarmed, and threatened with instant death if he made

any noise. The Americans soon reached the house. Prescott's door was locked, but a negro forced it open with his head. Barton seized the general, whom he found sitting up in bed,

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and hurried him half-dressed to the boats. A soldier had escaped from the building and alarmed the cavalry; but they laughed at his fears, and said that he must have seen a ghost. Not till the Americans had reached the shore was the truth discovered. The British fleet fired on the brave little party, but they escaped uninjured. “You have made a bold push

Who undertook to capture him? Give an account of Barton's expedition. What passed between Prescott and Barton after they had landed? How did Congress reward this exploit? 333. When did Congress adopt a national flag?


Describe it.

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