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CHAP. X. to Charleston Neck, and to the islands near 1781. that town.*
It is impossible to review the campaign of 1781 in South Carolina without feeling that much is due to general Greene, and that he amply justified the favourable opinion entertained of him by the commander in chief. He found the country completely conquered, and defended by a regular army which he calcu. lated at four thousand men.t The inhabitants
* During this campaign a very effective expedition against the Cherokees was conducted by general Pickens. When the struggle for South Carolina recommenced, those savages were stimulated by British agents in their country, to renew their incursions into the settlements of the whites. At the head of about four hundred mounted militia, Pickens penetrated into their country, burned thirteen of their villages, killed upwards of forty Indians, and took a number of prisoners without the loss of a single man. On this occasion a new mode of attack was introduced. The militia horse rushed upon the Indians, and charged them with drawn swords. Terrified at the vigour with which they found themselves pursued, the Cherokees humbly sued for peace, which was granted on terms calculated to restrain their future depredations.
† In a letter addressed by general Greene to the com. mander in chief in August, when the count De Grasse was expected, and it was uncertain against what part of the British possessions on the continent its operations would be directed, he stated the regular troops in that country at four thousand men. But they were necessarily so divided that they certainly never fought the Americans with superior numbers. It forms no inconsiderable part of Greene's merit, that he was never forced
were so divided that it would be difficult to CHAP. X. declare to which side the majority was at. 1781. tached. * At no time did the effective conti. nental force which he could bring into the field amount to two thousand men, and of these a considerable part were raw troops. Yet by a course of judicious movement, of bold action, and of hardy enterprise, in which the most invincible constancy was displayed, and in which courage was happily tempered with prudence, he recovered the southern states; and at the close of the year, civil government was completely re-established in them. A just portion of the praise deserved by these achievements, is unquestionably due to the troops he commanded. They bore every hardship and privationt with a patience and constancy which
to come to action. For this he was indebted not only to his own judgment, but also to a brave and active cavalry, capable of effecting any thing which human effort could accomplish.
* The British and American general both complain loudly of their defection, and state the greatest numbers to be arranged in affection with the adverse army.
† The distresses of the southern army like those of the north were such that it was often difficult to keep them together. That he might relieve them when in the last extremity, and yet not diminish the exertions made to draw support from other sources by creating an opinion that any supplies could be drawn from him, Mr. Morris employed an agent to attend the southern army as a volunteer, whose powers were unknown to general Greene. This agent was instructed to watch its situation,
CHAP. X. cannot be sufficiently admired. And never was 1781. a general better supported by his inferior offi.
cers than Greene. Not shackled by those who had stations of high rank, in consideration of political influence, many of whom were without military talents, his orders were executed by young men of equal spirit and intelligence, formed under the eye of Washington, and trained in the school furnished by the severe service in the north, to all the hardships and dangers of war.
A peculiar importance was given to these successes in the south, by the opinion that a pacific temper was finding its way into the cabi.. nets of the belligerent powers in Europe. The communications from the court of Versailles rendered it probable that negotiations for a peace would take place in the course of the ensuing winter; and dark hints had been given on the part of Great Britain to the minister of the christian king, that all the states in Ame. rica could not reasonably expect to become independent, as several of them were subdued
and whenever it appeared impossible for the general to extricate himself from his embarrassments, to furnish him, on his pledging the faith of the government for repayment, with a draft on the financier for such a sum as would relieve the urgency of the moment. Thus was Greene frequently rescued from impending ruin by aids which appeared providential, and for which he could not account.
by her arms. Referring to the precedent of CHAP. X. the Low Countries, he observed that of the 1781. seventeen provinces which originally united against the Spanish crown, only seven ob. tained their independence.
Motives for great exertions in the course of the year, in addition to those which grew out of the situation of America, were also furnished by other communications from the French monarch. They were plainly told that after the present campaign no further pecuniary or military aids were to be expected from France. The situation of affairs in Europe, it was said, would demand all the exertions which that nation was capable of making, and that the forces of his most christian majesty might render to the common cause as much real service elsewhere as in America.
Preparations for another campaign.... Proceedings in the
British parliament....Conciliatory conduct of general Carlton....Negotiations for peace....Preliminary and eventual articles agreed upon between the United States and Great Britain.... Discontents of the American army.... Anonymous letters and the proceedings in consequence thereof....Measures for disbanding the army ....Mutiny of a part of the Pennsylvania line.... Peace concluded.... Evacuation of New York....General Wash. ington resigns his commission and retires to Mount Vernon.
for another campaign,
IE splendid success of the allied arms in Virginia, and the great advantages obtained still further south, produced no disposition in
the mind of the commander in chief to relax Preparations those vigorous exertions which might yet be
necessary to secure the great object of the contest. “I shall attempt to stimulate congress,” said he in a letter to general Greene written from Mount Vernon, “to the best improvement of our late success, by taking the most vigorous and effectual measures to be ready for an early and decisive campaign the next year. My greatest fear is that, viewing this stroke in a point of light which may too much magnify its importance, they may think our work too nearly closed, and fall into a state of languor and relaxation. To prevent this error, I shall employ every means in my power,