Abbildungen der Seite

As an expression of confidence in his patriotisin and military talents, he was very soon appointed to the command of the state militia. It does net appear, however, that his intrepidity was ever again brought to the test, though his patriotism was tried by an unsuccessful attempt of the British to bribe him to attempt a union of Vermont with Canada. He died suddenly at his estate in Col. chester, February 13, 1789.

Colonel Allen possessed a mind naturally strong, vigorous and eccentric, but it had not been improved by an early education. He was brave in the most imminent danger, and possessed a bold, dal'ing, and adventurous spirit, which neither feared dangers nor regarded difficulties. He was also ingenuous, frank, generous, and patriotic, which are the usual accompanying virtues of native bra- ' very and courage. He wrote and published a. narrative of his sufferings during his imprisonment in England and in New York; comprising 2. Iso various observations upon the events of the war, the conduct of the British, and their treatment of their prisoners.

ALEXANDER, WILLIAM, commonly called lord Sterling, a major-general in the American army, in the revolutionary war with Great Britain, was a native of the city of New York, burt spent a considerable part of his life in New Jer. sey. He was considered by many as the rightful heir to the title and estate of an earldom in Scotland, of which country his father was a native; and although, when he went to North Britain in pursuit of this inheritance, he failed of obtaining an acknowledgment of his claim by government; yet, among his friends and acquaintances, he received by courtesy the title of lord Sterling. He discovered an early fondness for the study of mathematics and astronomy, and attained great eminence in these sciences.

[ocr errors]

In the battle on Long-Island, August 27, 1776, ke was taken prisoner, after having secured to a large part of the detachment, an opportunity to escape, by a bold attack, with four hundred men, upon a corps under lord Cornwallis. In the battle of Germantown, his division, and the brigades of generals Nash and Maxwell, formed the corps of reserve. At the battle of Monmouth, he commanded the left wing of the American army.

He died at Albany, January 15, 1783, aged 57 years. He was a brave, discerning, and intrepid officer.

Ramsay, in his history of the American revolution, gives the following account of the battle of Monmouth:

“The royal army passed over the Delaware into New Jersey. General Washington, having penetrated into their design of evacuating Philadelphia, bad previously detached general Maxwell's brigade, to co-operate with the Jersey militia, in obstructing their progress, till time would be given for his army to overtake them. The British were incumbered with enormous baggage, which, together with the impediments thrown into their way, greatly retarded their march. The American army, having, in pursuit of the British, crossed the Delaware, six hundred men were immediately detached, under colonel Morgan, to reinforce general Maxwell. Washington halted his troops, when they had marched to the vicinity of Princeton. The general officers in the American army, being asked by the commander in chief, “Will it be advisable to hazard a general action?' answered in the negative, but recommended a detachment of fifteen hundred men, to be immediately sent, to act as occasion might serve, on the enemy's left flank and rear. This was immediately forwarded under general Scott. When sir Henry Clinton had advanced to Allentown, he determined, instead of

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 Leé, 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 censure. 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. ....

6. 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 thèm, 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 royal 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, BENEDÍCT, 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.

« ZurückWeiter »