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keeping the direct course towards
Staten Island, to draw towards the sea coast and to pass on towards Sandy Hook. General Washington, on receiving intelligence that sir Henry was proceeding in that direction towards Monmouth court-house, dispatched one thousand men under general Wayne, and sent the marquis de la Fayette to take command of the whole advanced corps, with orders to seize the first fair opportunity of attacking the enemy's rear. General Lee, who, having been lately exchanged, had joined the army, was offered this command, but he declined it, as he was in principle against hazarding an attack. The whole army followed at a proper distance, for supporting the advanced corps, and reached Cranberry the next morning. Sir Henry Clinton, sensible of the approach of the Americans, placed his grenadiers, light infantry and chaseurs, in his rear, and his baggage in his front. General Washington increased his advanced corps with two brigades, and sent general Lee, who now wished for the command, to take charge of the whole, and followed with the main army to give it support. On the next morning orders were sent to Lee, to move on and attack, unless there should be powerful reasons to the contrary. When Washington had marched about five miles, to support the advanced corps, he found the whole of it retreating by Lee's orders, and without having made any opposition of consequence. Washington rode up to Lee and proposed certain questions to him, which implied
Lee answered with warmth and unsuitable language. The commander in chief ordered colonel Stewart's and lieutenant colonel Ramsay's battalions, to form on a piece of ground, which he judged suitable for giving a check to the advancing enemy. Lee was then asked if he would command on that ground, to which he consented, and was ordered to take proper measures for checking the enemy, to which he replied, “your orders shall be obeyed, and I will not be the first to leave the field. Washington then rode to the main army, which was formed with the utmost expedition. A warm cannonade immediately commenced, between the British and American artillery, and a heavy firing between the advanced troops of the British army, and the two battalions which general Washington had halted. These stood their ground, till they were intermixed with a part of the British army. Lieutenant Colonel Ramsay, the commander of one of them, was wounded and taken prisoner.. General Lee continued till the last on the field of battle, and brought off the rear of the retreating troops.
66 The check the British received, gave time to make a disposition of the left wing, and second line of the American army in the wood, and on the eminence to which Lee was retreating. On this, some cannon were placed by lord Sterling, who commanded the left wing, which, with the co-operation of some parties of infantry, effectually stopped the advance of the British in that quarter. General Greene took a very advantageous position, on the right of lord Sterling. The British attempted to turn the left flank of the Americans, but were repulsed. They also made a movement to the right, with as little success, for Greene with artillery disappointed their design. Wayne advanced with a body of troops, and kept up so scvere and well directed a fire, that the British were soon compelled to give way. They retired and took the position, which Lee had before occupied. Washington resolved to attack them, and ordered General Poor to move round upon their right, and General Woodford to their left; but they could not get within reach, before it was dark. These remained on the ground, which they had been directed to occupy during the night, with an intention of
attacking early next morning, and the main body lay on their arms in the field to be ready for supporting them. General Washington reposed himself in his cloak, under a tree, in hopes of renewing the action the next day. But these hopes were frustrated: The British troops marched away in the night, in such silence, that General Poor, though he lay very near them, knew nothing of their departure. They left behind them, four officers and about forty privates, all so badly wounded, that they could not be removed. Their other wounded were carried off. The British pursued their march without further interruption, and soon reached the neighbourhood of Sandy-Hook, without the loss of either their covering party or baggage. The American general declined all farther pursuit of the roy. al army, and soon after drew off his troops to the borders of the North river. The loss of the Americans, in killed and wounded, was about 250. The loss of the royal army, inclusive of prisoners, was about 350. Lieutenant Colonel Monckton, one of the British slain, on account of his singular merit, was universally lamented. Colonel Bonner of Pennsylvania, and major Dickenson of Virginia, officers highly esteemed by their country, fell in this engagement. The emotions of the mind, added to fatigue in a very hot day, brought on such a fatal suppression of the vital powers, that some of the Americans, and fifty-nine of the British, were found dead on the field of battle, without any marks of violence upon their bodies.".
ARNOLD, BENEDICT, a major general in the American army, during the revolutionary war, and infamous for deserting the cause of his country, was early chosen captain of a volunteer company in New Haven, Connecticut, where he lived. After hearing of the battle of Lexington, he immediately marched, with his company, for the Ameri can head-quarters, and reached Cambridge, April 29, 1775.
He iminediately waited on the Massachusetts committee of safety, and informed them of the defenceless state of Ticonderoga. The committee appointed him a colonel, and commissioned him to raise four hundred men, and to take that fortress. He proceeded directly to Vermont, and when he arrived at Castleton was attended by one servant only. Here he joined colonel Allen, and on the 10th of May, the fortress was taken.
In the fall of 1775, he was sent by the commander in chief to penetrate through the wilderness of the district of Maine, into Canada. On the 16th of September, he commenced his march with about one thousand men, consisting of New England infantry, some volunteers, a company of artillery, and three companies of riflemen. One division was obliged to return, or it would have perished by hunger. After sustaining almost incredible hardships he, in six weeks, arrived at Point Levi, opposite to Quebec. The appearance of an army, emerging from the wilderness, threw the city into the greatest consternation. In this moment of surprise Arnold might probably have become master of the place, but the small crafts and boats in the river were removed out of his reach.
It seems that his approach was not altogether unexpected. He had, imprudently, a number of days before, sent forward a letter to a friend by an Indian, who betrayed him. A delay of several days on account of the difficulty of passing the river was inevitable, and the critical moment was lost.
On the 14th of November, he crossed the St. Lawrence in the night; and, ascending the precipice, which Wolfe had climbed before him, formed his small corps on the height, near the memorable plains of Abraham. With only about seven hundred men, one third of whose muskets had been rendered useless in the march through the wilder.
success could not be expected. After parading some days on the heights, near the town, and sending two flags to summon the inhabitants, he retired to Point aux Trembles, twenty miles above Quebee, and there waited the arrival of Montgomery, who joined him on the first of December. The city was immediately besieged, but the best measures had been taken for its defence. On the morning of the last day of the year, an assault was made on the one side of the city by Montgomery, who was killed. At the same time, colonel Arnold, at the head of about three hundred and fifty men, made a desperate attack on the opposite side. Advancing with the utmost intrepidity along the St. Charles, through a narrow path, exposed to an incessant fire of grape shot and musketry, as he approached the first barrier he received a musket ball in the leg, which shattered the bone; and he was carried off to the camp. Though the attack was unsuccessful, the blockade of Quebec was continued till May, 1776, when the army, which was in no condition to risk an assault, was removed to a more defensible position. Arnold was compelled to relinquish one post after another, tili the 18th of June, when he quitted Canada. After this period he exhibited great bravery in the command of the American fleet on lake Champlain..
In August, 1777, he relieved fort Schuyler, under the command of colonel Gansevoort, which was invested by colonel St. Leger, with an army from fifteen to eighteen hundred men. In the battle, near Stillwater, September the nineteenth, he conducted himself with his usual intrepidity, being engaged, incessantly, for four hours.
In the action of October the seventh, after the British had been driven into the lines, Arnold pressed forward, and under a tremendous fire, assaulted their works from right to left. The intrenchments were at length forced, and with a few men he actually en