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groundless. On July 23d the British fleet set sail from New York, carrying between fifteen and eighteen thousand men. Not deceived by the efforts to make him think that they aimed at Boston, but still fearing that the sailing might be only a ruse and the Hudson the real object after all, Washington moved cautiously to the Delaware, holding himself ready to strike in either direction. On the 31st he heard that the enemy were at the Capes. This seemed decisive; so he sent in all directions for reinforcements, moved the main army rapidly to Germantown, and prepared to defend Philadelphia. The next news was that the fleet had put to sea again, and again messengers went north to warn Putnam to prepare for the defence of the Hudson. Washington himself was about to re-cross the Delaware, when tidings arrived that the fleet had once more appeared at the Capes, and after a few more days of doubt the ships came up the Chesapeake and anchored. Washington thought the “route a strange one,” but he knew now that he was right in his belief that Howe aimed at Philadelphia. He therefore gathered his forces and marched south to meet the *nemy, passing through the city in order to impress the disaffected and the timid with the show of force. It was a motley array that followed him. There was nothing uniform about the troops except their burnished arms and the sprigs of evergreen in their hats. Nevertheless Lafayette, who had just come among them, thought that they looked like good soldiers, and the Tories woke up sharply to the fact that there was a large body of men known as the American army, and that they had a certain obvious fighting capacity visible in their appear. ance. Neither friends nor enemies knew, however, as they stood on the Philadelphia sidewalks and watched the troops go past, that the mere fact of that army's existence was the greatest victory of skill and endurance which the war could show, and that the question of success lay in its continuance. Leaving Philadelphia, Washington pushed on to the junction of the Brandywine and Christiana Creek, and posted his men along the heights. August 25th, Howe landed at the Head of Elk, and Washington threw out light parties to drive in cattle, carry off supplies, and annoy the enemy. This was done, on the whole, satisfactorily, and after some successful skirmishing on the part of the Americans, the two armies on the 5th of September found themselves within eight or ten miles of each other. Washington now determined to risk a battle in the field, despite his inferiority in every way. He accordingly issued a stirring proclamation to the soldiers, and then fell back behind the Brandywine, to a strong position, and prepared to contest the passage of the river. Early on September 11th, the British advanced to Chad's Ford, where Washington was posted with the main body, and after some skirmishing began to cannonade at long range. Meantime Cornwallis, with the main body, made a long détour of seventeen miles, and came upon the right flank and rear of the Americans. Sullivan, who was on the right, had failed to guard the fords above, and through lack of information was practically surprised. Washington, on rumors that the enemy were marching toward his right, with the instinct of a great soldier was about to cross the river in his front and crush the enemy there, but he also was misled and kept back by false reports. When the truth was known, it was too late. The right wing had been beaten and flung back, the enemy were nearly in the rear, and were now advancing in earnest in front. All that man could do was done. Troops were pushed forward and a gallant stand was made at various points; but the critical moment had come and gone, and there was nothing for it but a hasty retreat, which came near degenerating into a rout. The causes of this complete defeat, for such it was, are easily seen. Washington had planned his battle and chosen his position well. If he had not been deceived by the first reports, he even then would have fallen upon and overwhelmed the British centre before they could have reached his right wing. But the Americans, to begin with, were outnumbered. They had only eleven thousand effective men, while the British brought fifteen of their eighteen thousand into action. Then the Americans suffered, as they constantly did, from misinformation, and from an absence of system in learning the enemy's movements. Wash

ington's attack was fatally checked in this way, and Sullivan was surprised from the same causes, as well as from his own culpable ignorance of the country beyond him, which was the reason of his failure to guard the upper fords. The Americans lost, also, by the unsteadiness of new troops when the unexpected happens, and when the panic-bearing notion that they are surprised and likely to be surrounded comes upon them with a sudden shock. This defeat was complete and severe, and it was followed in a few days by that of Wayne, who narrowly escaped utter ruin. Yet through all this disaster we can see the advance which had been made since the equally unfortunate and very similar battle on Long Island. Then, the troops seemed to lose heart and courage, the army was held together with difficulty, and could do nothing but retreat. Now, in the few days which Howe, as usual, gave us with such fatal effect to himself, Washington rallied his army, and finding them in excellent spirits marched down the Lancaster road to fight again. On the eve of battle a heavy storm came on, which so injured the arms and munitions that with bitter disappointment he was obliged to withdraw, but nevertheless it is plain how much this forward movement meant. At the moment, however, it looked badly enough, especially after the defeat of Wayne, for Howe pressed forward, took possession of Philadelphia, and encamped the main body of his army at Germantown. Meantime Washington, who had not in the least given up his idea of fighting again, recruited his army, and having a little more than eight thousand men, determined to try another stroke at the British, while they were weakened by detachments. On the night of October 3d he started, and reached Germantown at daybreak on the 4th. At first the Americans swept everything before them, and flung the British back in rout and confusion. Then matters began to go wrong, as is always likely to happen when, as in this case, widely separated and yet accurately concerted action is essential to success. Some of the British threw themselves into a stone house, and instead of leaving them there under guard, the whole army stopped to besiege, and a precious half hour was lost. Then Greene and Stephen were late in coming up, having made a circuit, and although when they arrived all seemed to go well, the Americans were seized with an inexplicable panic, and fell back, as Wayne truly said, in the very moment of victory. One of those unlucky accidents, utterly unavoidable, but always dangerous to extensive combinations, had a principal effect on the result. The morning was very misty, and the fog, soon thickened by the smoke, caused confusion, random firing, and, worst of all, that uncertainty of feeling and action which something or nothing converted into a panic. Never theless, the Americans rallied quickly this time, and a good retreat was made, under the lead of Greene, until safety was reached. The action, while it lasted, had been very sharp, and the losses

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