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Charleston to Camden to take command of the army,
which had been left under Lord Rawdon. Eight hundred men were too sick to take the field. A still larger number in the American ranks were unfit for service from the same cause; so that, after sending the sick with his extra stores and luggage to Waxhaws, Gates found he had but 3,663 men in his camp With this force drawn up in order of battle, at ten o'clock on the night of August 15th, 1780, he set out in profound silence, in the hope of surprising the enemy.
By a singular coincidence, Cornwallis had formed the same design; and about the time that Gates marched for Camden, he left his quarters to surprise the American camp. Neither party was aware of the other's movements; and, at two on the morning of the 16th, much to their surprise, the hostile forces met. The discovery was made on both sides at the same moment, and firing immediately commenced. The interval till daylight was employed in preparing for a general engagement. Hardly had the battle begun, when part of the American militia, quailing before the terrible fire to which they were exposed, threw down their arms and fled. In vain the regulars nobly seconded the efforts of the intrepid De Kalb; they were forced to give way before the superior discipline of the British regiments. Tarleton's cavalry completed the rout, and strewed the road for miles with dying and dead. The defeat at Camden cost the Americans great quantities of stores, and nearly 2,000 men, killed, wounded, and captured. De Kalb, the friend of La Fayette and fellowsufferer with Washington at Valley Forge, fell in the battle, pierced with eleven wounds, and died a prisoner three days afterwards. A lieutenant, who threw his arms round his commander to save him from the bayonets of the foe, was himself mortally wounded. Forty-five years after the death of De Kalb, a monument was erected to his memory at Camden, the corner-stone of which was laid by La Fayette.
377. Who took command of the British army at Camden? How many of Cornwallis's men were unfit for service ? How large a force had Gates ? Where did Gates send his sick? What was his plan of operations on the 15th of August ? What was contemplated by Cornwallis ? Under what circumstances did the hostile armies meet?
What followed ? Give an account of the battle of Camden,
DEPRECIATION OF CONTINENTAL MONEY.
Gates was unable to rally his men. Over dreary miles of swamp and pine-barrens they held their flight. Many who had before been wavering, now hastened to show their devotion to the king and secure a share of the spoils by joining in the pursuit. At last, harassed and exhausted, the remnants of the defeated army found refuge in Charlotte, N. C.; and there, after a time, Gates was superseded by Gen. Greene.
378. Carolina was now completely at the mercy of the British. Sumter, after capturing some stores at Wa-ter-ee' Ford, was surprised by the active Tarleton, and lost most of his men, Marion retired to his forest fastnesses, but was still the scourge of hostile parties, on whom he fell when they deemed themselves most secure. For a time, this gallant partisan and his men were the only active defenders of American liberty in the south.
379. During the year 1780, Congress was continually hampered in its action by a want of money. At the commencement of the war, the feeble colonies, having no funds at command, had been obliged to issue bills of credit, for the payment of which they pledged thė public faith. The cause of liberty required constant advances; and in 1780 it was found that no less than $200,000,000 of continental money (as it was called) was in circulation.
At first the bills passed at par, that is for the full sum which they promised to pay; but, as Congress kept issuing large amounts, which it could not redeem with gold or silver, people would not take them, except at a great discount, or allowance. Thus, in April, 1780, one silver dollar was worth forty in continental bills; and soon afterwards no less than $75 in bills was given for one in specie. A pair of boots at this time sold for $600 continental money. To injure still more the credit of Congress, the British flooded the
What did this defeat cost the Americans ? What able general fell? Where has a monument been erected to De Kalb's memory! Describe the retreat of the American army. Where did the remnants of the army assemble ?
Who superseded Gates ? 378. What befell Sumter? Who for a time was the sole defender of the American cause in Carolina ? 379. Describe the financial difficulties of Congress. At last how much continental money was in circulation ? For what did the bills originally pass ? What caused them to become less valuable? To what extent did they depreciate? What means did the British take to injure the
country with counterfeit bills, which it was impossible to distinguish from those that were genuine. At last no one would take continental money on any terms; those who had it on hand were plunged in the greatest distress, and all business was paralyzed. In this desperate state of affairs, a few noble-hearted patriots stepped forward to the relief of their suffering country. Robert Morris, with the aid of some influential fellow-citizens, established a bank in Philadelphia, which was found so useful that Congress pledged the faith of the United States to sustain it, and in 1781 established the bank of North America on the same basis, intrusting Mr. Morris with its management.
380. The noble efforts of the women of our country must not be forgotten. Wishing to do all in their power for the holy cause, they organized societies and made up large quantities of clothing with their own hands for the suffering soldiers. Particularly was this done in Philadelphia, where Dr. Franklin's daughter and the wife of Gen. Joseph Reed took a prominent part in the movement. No less than $7,500 worth of clothing was thus contributed; and many a needy and ragged soldier invoked a blessing on the tender-hearted women of the dear land for which he fought, when he was enabled, through their labors, to exchange his tattered garments for a warm and comfortable suit.
ARNOLD'S TREACHERY.–BATTLE OF KING'S MOUNTAIN.
381. THE British attempted little in the north during 1780; and the condition of Washington's army prevented him from acting on the offensive. Notwithstanding the re
credit of Congress? What was the result? Who came forward to the aid of Congress ? How were the difficulties in question for a time relieved ? 380. How did the women of America contribute to the relief of the soldiers ? Where, in particular, was this done?
381. What is said of operations in the north during 1780? What hampered
HE OBTAINS COMMAND OF WEST POINT.
lief afforded from time to time by public-spirited men, it was found difficult to provide food for the soldiers; and, as their terms expired, they withdrew from the service. When, therefore, a French fleet, which had been sent to the aid of America through the influence of La Fayette, arrived at Newport, on the 13th of July, Washington had neither the men nor the supplies necessary for coöperating with it. Before he was ready to take the field, the arrival of a strong British fleet at New York made the enemy once more masters of the sea, and kept the Americans and their allies from active operations.
382. Hardly had the hopes of Washington been thus disappointed, when a blow was struck at the cause of liberty in a quarter where it was least expected. Gen. Arnold, whose services at Quebec, Stillwater, and elsewhere, we have mentioned in high terms, had been placed in command at Philadelphia after its evacuation by the British, but had there been guilty of dishonesty and made himself generally offensive to the inhabitants. By order of Congress,
was tried before a court-martial, and, in compliance with its verdict, was reprimanded by Washington. This punishment, though well deserved, excited in Arnold's soul a fierce thirst for vengeance, and left him no rest till he had devised a plan for betraying his country to the enemy. Professing unaltered attachment to the cause he had defended with his blood, he solicited the command of West Point, at that time the most important post in the hands of the Americans. Having received the desired appointment in consideration of his previous services, he forthwith proposed to Gen. Clinton to betray the fortress into his hands. Clinton, who believed that the loss of this post would put an end to “the rebellion”, gladly listened to the offer, and sent Major Andre to confer with the traitor on the conditions of the surrender,
Andre sailed up the Hudson on the Vulture, a British
Washington's movements ? On the 13th of July, 1780, what arrived ? Before Washington was ready to cooperate with the French, what took place ? 382. What city had been intrusted to Arnold? What is said of his course at Philadelphia ? How was he punished ? To what did this excite him? Of what fortress did he obtain command? [See Map, p. 264.-How is West Point situated ?] To whom
sloop-of-war, landed in the evening a few miles below West Point, and shortly after midnight was met by Arnold in a thicket near the shore. Here the details of their scheme were discussed in whispers; but morning dawned before they had finished, and they withdrew to a house within the American lines. In the course of the morning (September 22d), the terms were settled. Arnold was to receive £10,000 and the rank of brigadier-general in the British army. Clinton was to ascend the river and appear before West Point, which would be given up after a show of resistance. Plans of the work and a statement of its condition were given to Andre, who concealed them in his stockings. The bargain having been concluded, Arnold returned to his head-quarters at Beverly Robinson's house, after giving Andre a pass, with which in the evening he set out for New York city. Taking the east side of the river, he BEVERLY ROBINSON'S HOUSE, ARNOLD'S HEAD-QUARTERS. reached the neighborhood of Tarrytown in safety (see Map, p. 264]; but there, almost within sight of the British lines, he was stopped by three patriots, John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart, and David Williams. Supposing from what they said that they were royalists, Andre avowed himself a British officer; but, on discovering his mistake, he produced Arnold's pass, and begged that he might continue his journey. The suspicions of his captors were aroused, and, insisting on a search of his person, they discovered the important papers
did he make proposals for its surrender? Who was sent to confer with Arnold ? Give an account of their interview. Where did they go when it became light? What conditions were agreed on? What were given to Andre? On the conclusion of the business, where did Arnold go? When did Andre start? Give an account of his capture. [See Map, p. 264.-In what direction is West Point from