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whose fall was much lamenicd. The Ai exicans tu. ried about three hundred of the British, who had been found on the field; although Sir Henry Clinton, in his official letter, stated his loss in killed and missing at four officers and one hundred and eighty-four privates, and his wounded at sixteen officers and one hundred and fifty-four privates. Among the slain was the Jlonourable Colonel Monckton, an officer of celebrity. The day had been excessively hot, and numbers, both British and Americans, were found among the dead without wounds, who had fallen victims to the heat.
The Americans made about a hundred prisoners, and nearly a thousand privates, musliy Germans, deserted the British standard, on the march through New-Jergey.
Congress highly approved of the conduct of the Commander in Chief in bringing on the action of the 28th, and was gratified with its issue. In a resolution which passed that body unanimously, their thanks were given to General WASHINGTON “ for the activity with which he moved from the ca.np at Valley Forge, in pursuit of the enemy; for liis distinguished exertions in forming the line of battle ; and for his great, good conduct in the action.” He was requested “to sig. nify the thanks of Congress to the officers and men under his command, who distinguished theinselves by their conduct and valour in the battle."
Although the Commander in Chief disapproved of the retreat, yet could the proud spirit of General Leo have patiently borne what he considered as a reprimand cn the field of battle, it is probable that an explanation mutually satisfactory might have taken place. Ge. neial WASHINGTON continued him in coinmand on the day of action, after his retreat, and discovered no disposition to take publick notice of it. But the irri. table and losty spirit of' Lee urged him to write tho next day two offensive letters to General WASHINGTON, in which, assuming the language of a superiour, he demanded satisfaction for the insult offered him on the field of battle. On deliberation, the Commander in Chief informed him “ that he should have an opportunity to justify himself to the army, to America, and the world, or of convincing them that he had been guilty of breach of orders and misconduct before the enemy.” General Lee, expressing his desire for a Court Martial in preference to a Court of Inquiry, was arrested upon the following charges, 1. For disobedience of orders in not attacking the ene.
my on the 28th of June agreeably to repeated in
structiins. 2 For misbehaviour before the enemy on the same
day, by making an unnecessary, disorderly, and
shameful retreat. 3. For disrespect to the Commander in Chief, in two
The high colouring of the second charge was in con sequence of complaints entered by Generals Wayne and Scott, against General Lee, which on investigation appeared to have been founded in their misapprehending his movements. Lord Sterling presided at the court, which found him guilty of ail the charges, but softened the language of the second, and found him guilty of misbehavicur, by making an unnecessary, and in some few instances, a disorderly retreat. The court sentenced him to be suspended from his command for one year.
Congress, with some hesitation, almost unanimously approved the sentence
The suspension of General Lee was highly satisfac. tory to the army. They keenly resented his abuse to the Commander in Chief, and his continuance in rommission probably would have produced great incon. venience.
Scarcely had Sir Henry Clinton reached New-York, when a French ficet appeared off the Chesapeak, un der the command of Count d'Estaing. He had been VOL. I.
eighty-seven days in crossing the Atlantick. Had his passage been an ordinary one, he would have found Lord Howe in the Delaware, and the capture or destruction of thu British fleet in that river, and proba. bly of the army in Philadelphia, must have been the consequence. Count d'Estaing being disappointed at the Delaware, sailed along the coast to Sandy Hook General WASHINGTON moved his army to the White Plains, that he might be in a situation to co-operate with the French Admiral against New-York.
In the mean time, Sir Henry Clinton employed his whole force to strengthen his lines. The French Admiral finding an attack upon New-York impracticable, a conjoint expedition was planned against RhodeIsland.
At the critical moment when the success of the united action of the French and American army was reduced to a moral certainty, Count d'Estaing sailed out of the harbour of Newport to fight Lord Howe Being overtaken by a violent storm, his fleet was greatly damaged, and he thought it adviseable to repair to Boston harbour to refit.
In consequence of the harbour of Newport boing opened to the British, General Sullivan, the commanding officer upon Rhode-Island, was compelled to retreat. He and his general officers had remonstrated against Count d'Estaing leaving Newport, and in the moment of disappointment and irritation at the failure of the expedition, General Sullivan in or ders, used expressions which were construed into a severe reflection upon the French Admiral and other marine officers, and which they resented.
General WASHINGTON, alarmed at the probable consequences of a misunderstanding and jealousy between the French and Americans, so soon after the alliance was formed, and in the very commencement of their united operations, immediately adopted measures to prevent them. In letters to Generals Ileath and Sulli
van, he communicated the mode of conduct which he wished might in this delicate transaction be pursued.
To Heath, who commanded in Boston, he expressed his apprehension that resentment of the conduct of the Count might prevent the proper exertion to repair and victual the French fleet, and he urged Heath to counteract such prejudices.
“ It will certainly be sound policy to combat the effects, and whatever private opinions may be entertained, to give the best construction of what has happened to the publick; and at the same time to exert ourselves to put the French flect, as soon as possible, in a condition to defend itself, and be useful to us The departure of the flået from Rhode Island is not yet publickly announced here ; but when it is, I intend to ascribe it to necessity produced by the damage received in the late storm. This, it appears to me, is the idea which ought to be generally propagated. As I doubt not, the force of these reasons will strike you equally with myself, I would recommend to you to use your utmost influence to palliate and soften matters, and to induce those, whose business it is, to provide succours of every kind for the fleet, to employ their utmost zeal and activity in doing it. It is our duty to make the best of our misfortunes, and not suffer passion to interfere with our interest and the publick good.”
To General Sullivan he mentioned “his apprehension that should the expedition fail, in consequence of being abandoned by the French flect, loud complairts might be made by the officers enıployed on it. Prudence," he said, “ dictated the propriety of giving this affair the best appearance, and of attributing the withdrawing the facet from Rhode Island to ahsolute necessity. The reasons," he added, " for this line of conduct, were too obvious to need explanation. That of most importance was, that their enemics, both in
ternal and external, would seize the first cause of dis gust between the allies, and endeavour to convert it into a serious rupture.”
When the General received the resolution of Congress, directing him to take every measure in his power to prevent the publication of the protest entered into by General Sullivan and his officers, he communicated the resolution and with it the following letter. “ The disagreement between the army under your command, and the fleet, has given me very singular uncasiness. The continent at large is concerned in our cordiality, and it should be kept up by all possible means consistent with our honour and policy. First impressions, you know, are generally longest re"lained, and will serve to fix, in a great degree, our national character with the French. In our conduct towards them, we should remember, that they are a people old in war, very strict in military etiquette, and apt to take fire when others scarcely seem warned. Perinit me to recommend, in the most particulaz manner, the cultivation of harmony and good agreement, and your endeavours to destroy that ill humour which may have found its way among the officers. It is of the utmost importance too, that the soldiers and the people should know rothing cf this misunderstanding, or, it' it has reached them, that means may be used to stop its progress and prevent its effects.”
In a correspondence with Count d'Estaing, General WASHINGTON strove to soften his resentments, to sooth the chagrin of disappointment, and to conciliate his good affections towards the United States.
These prudent measures were attended with the most salutary effects.
With the battle of Monmouth, active operations for the campaign closed in the Middle States. On the approach of winter, the American army went into quarters in the neighbourhood of the High Lande.