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by a pretended deserter, and sent Wayne forward to attack what he supposed to be the rear-guard of the British army, but what was in fact the main body. This affair occurred on the 6th of July, at Jamestown island. The Americans would have been hopelessly defeated but for “Mad Anthony's " desperate valor, which deceived the British and permitted the army to be drawn off, after a considerable loss. Lafayette retired to Green Springs, there to rest and recruit his men, while Cornwallis pushed on to Portsmouth, from which point he was obliged, by his recent orders, to send a large detachment from his army to rejoin Sir Henry Clinton in New York. This action on the part of Clinton was caused by demonstrations made by the allied armies in the North.
THE CLOSING CAMPAIGN OF THE WAR.
'HE beginning of the year 1781 should, according to the paper mus
ters of Congress, have seen a force of thirty-seven thousand men in service. Yet Washington, after deducting the armies of Virginia and South Carolina, had not, on the first of May, more than seven thousand soldiers, effective for service, under his own command, on the Hudson. The country between his advance posts and New York city, was desolated by repeated marauds of the refugees under Colonel Delancy, and other tory leaders, yet the condition of the army scarcely permitted the detachment of a force sufficient to check the outrages. At last, a particularly bold ravage, resulting in the death of two valuable officers, Colonel Greene and Major Flagg, -and the butchery of their men, led him to determine to break up this partisan warfare at any cost. While he was considering the course to be adopted, he learned that Count de Barras had arrived at Boston, to assume command of the French squadron ; that twenty ships of the line, with a large land force, had sailed from France, under Count de Grasse, and that twelve of these were intended to reinforce the squadron at New York. Consulting with Rochambeau, it was determined to make a joint effort against New York, the French army moving at once from Newport to join the Americans.
A message was sent to intercept De Grasse, and Washington hastened to place his men in the best possible condition for effectual co-operation. At the best, the result was not flattering, for not more than five thousand Americans could be contributed for the service. The time selected for the movement, was when a portion of the garrison of New York was detached into New Jersey. It was well conceived, and carefully arranged. Much depended upon accomplishing a surprise, and it was intended to move quietly and simultaneously for the taking of New York, and the striking of a fatal blow at the tory partisans of the debatable ground.
It is not necessary to minutely follow the history of the expedition. The partisans were scattered, so much of the design being effected, but the unexpected return of the New Jersey detachment prevented a surprise and rendered it prudent for the armies to retire and await a more fitting opportunity. This they did, the French and American forces going into neighboring camps, extending from Dobbs' Ferry on the Hudson to the Bronx river. Later, a reconnoissance in force was made to the neighborhood of New York city. Under cover of five thousand troops, Washington and Rochambeau, accompanied by engineers, made an extended and minute study of the British position, with a view to discovering the best point and plan for an attack. These demonstrations proved effective for the relief of Virginia, as they alarmed Clinton to such a degree that, as stated, he directed Cornwallis to detach troops to his relief. After this reconnoissance, both armies returned to their encampment to await an opportunity for an attack. While matters were in this condition, news came from De Grasse, that he would leave San Domingo on the 3d of August, with between twenty-five and thirty ships of the line, and sail directly for the Chesapeake. It was at once determined to give up the design upon New York, and to remove the French army and so many of the Americans as could be spared, to Virginia Washington sent word to De Grasse of this intention, and a message to Lafayette to so post his men as to cut off the retreat of the British. He did not, however, tell Lafayette, at that time, of his own intention. It was kept a complete secret from all save himself and Rochambeau. Every preparation was made, as if an attack upon New York were contemplated; pioneers were sent to repair the roads and bridges, and a vast parade was made to deceive both Clinton and the American army. At last, on the 19th of August, both armies were formed, facing New York, as if an immediate advance by separate roads were contemplated; then they were wheeled, marched to King's ferry, the tedious crossing made, and each set out upon its march by a different route. The men of the American army believed, until the last post had been passed, that they were to land upon Staten island and attack New York, and it was not until Washington had reached the Delaware, and interception was out of the question, that Clinton discovo ered that he was a dupe.
On the 2nd and 3d of September, the armies passed through Philadelphia. There Washington learned that his plans must be revised, as an extensive embarkation, which Lafayette had taken to be a detachment of additional troops to New York, was in fact an evacuation of Portsmouth in favor of Yorktown. Cornwallis had removed his army to that place, which occupies a position on the bank of York river, opposite Gloucester point. Here, secure in the belief that only Lafayette was opposed to him, he was leisurely fortifying, on each side of the river, preparatory to the transfer of the war into Virginia, which he expected
Clinton would make on the ist of October. In the meantime, Lafayette had taken every precaution, by the disposal of his troops, to prevent a possible retreat on the part of Cornwallis. On September 5th, Washington left Philadelphia. When near Chester, he met a messenger bearing news that the Count de Grasse, with thirty-eight ships of the line, was already in Chesapeake bay; and of the junction of three thousand French troops, under Marquis St. Simon, with Lafayette. He returned to Chester and congratulated Rochambeau upon the happy result, news of which reached Philadelphia during a great banquet given by citizens to the French officers, and set the banqueters, and citizens in general, wild with delight. On the 6th the embarkation of troops and supplies began at the Head of Elk, and Washington, having notified De Grasse that the land forces would soon be thus reinforced, pushed on by land, in advance of part of the troops for which there was not transportation, to Baltimore, leaving General Heath to commence the march at daybreak. On the oth he set out from Baltimore, accompanied by a single officer, and, late at night, for the first time in six long and weary years, entered his own home at Mt. Vernon. There his suite, whom his eagerness had outrun, joined him on the following day, and at evening came, as an honored guest, the Count de Rochambeau.
The remainder of the campaign of Greene in South Carolina must be passed with a mere statement of results. Greene was checked by Rawdon at Camden, and retired for the time being, intending to await reinforcements, but, while he remained in this condition of inactivity, Rawdon received news of the event which had prevented Lafayette's juncture with Greene—the movement into Virginia. This led him to abandon Camden for Charleston. Greene at once took the offensive; the hardy soldiers of Marion and Sumter struck repeated and successful blows; the light cavalry of Lee and Wade Hampton seemed omnipresent, and the army gained a series of successes, each small in its way, but, taken together, contributing little by little to the destruction of British power in the South. The war was boldly pushed, one cavalry dash being made actually to the outskirts of Charleston, where several prisoners were taken and safely brought away, before the astonished British were well aware of the cause of the commotion. About the ist of August, Lord Rawdon sailed for England, leaving Colonel Stuart in command of the British army. Stuart went into camp within sight of Greene's fires, and thus, separated by two rivers,—the Congeree and Wateree,—the two armies lay during the months of extreme heat, without any active operations on the part of either. The result of the campaign had been the almost complete recovery, by the Americans, of the two Carolinas and Georgia, and only a slender force now opposed their complete redemption.
On the 22d of August, Greene descended from his delightful camp on the hills of the Santee, and set out to make a circuit of some seventy miles,
necessary to find crossing places, and approach the camp of Stuart for the purpose of making an attack. Stuart, however, deserted his position, and moved forty miles, to Eutaw Springs. Greene followed him by easy marches, and, on the 5th of September, came within seventeen miles of the springs, and there lightened himself of tents, baggage, and all unnecessary impedimenta. On the night of the 7th, he encamped ten miles farther, and, at four o'clock on the morning of the next day, advanced to engage the enemy. Then ensued one of the most desperate battles of the war, continuing, with varying fortune, during the day, and which, though not entirely decisive, ended with the advantage on the side of the Americans. At nightfall Greene drew off his men to the camp they had left in the morning, and, during the hours of darkness, Stuart withdrew from the field, leaving many of his wounded behind. The American loss was four hundred and thirty-five, killed, wounded and prisoners; that of the British six hundred and thirty-three, five hundred of these being prisoners. Greene, learning of the retreat, in the morning pursued the enemy for some distance, but found him reinforced and well placed. Not caring to risk a defeat, and certain of ultimately capturing his game, he returned to the heights of Santee, and neither army saw further service, before the cessation of hostilities put a period to the desultory, but bloody war in the Carolinas.
On the 6th day of October, the first American parallel was begun, at a distance of six hundred yards from the British line at Yorktown. The work was vigorously pushed during the night, and its advanced condition, when daylight revealed it, was a surprise to the army of defense. A tremendous fire was at once opened upon the new works, but they were sufficiently advanced to protect the workers, and were steadily strengthened from within. On the oth the first artillery was mounted, and, Washington himself applying the match, the cannonading of the town was begun. As gun after gun was placed in position, the fire became almost continuous, and was savagely answered by the defenders. The town was very seriously battered, Lord Cornwallis' headquarters became untenable, and the general was obliged, very early in the siege, to seek a new and safer residence. For three or four days this tremendous cannonade and bombardment were kept up from works manned by the Americans, as well as those held by the French soldiers,—the fire of the latter being especially directed at the British defenses upon Gloucester point. The works of the enemy, yet uncompleted, suffered very severely, and many of his guns were dismounted and silenced. The French fired hot shot, which ignited several building in the town, and burned a man-of-war and three transports in the harbor. On the night of the 11th the second parallel of the besiegers was opened within three hundred yards of the enemy's works. To oppose the construction of this the British made new embrasures, and, for three days, kept up an annoying and effective fire upon the working soldier ;, and from two redoubts, some distance in advance