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THE STORMING OF STONY POINT.
with 1,500 men. Putnam planted his cannon on the high ground, near the meeting house, and by firing, retarded the enemy's advance, till seeing the infantry and cavalry preparing for a charge, he ordered his men to retire to a neighbouring swamp, and plunged down the precipice near the church. This was so steep as to have artificial stairs, composed of nearly 100 stone steps for the accommodation of foot passengers. The British dragoons durst not follow the intrepid horseman down the precipice, and before they could ride round the hill, he was out of their reach. The infantry poured a shower of bullets after him, but all missed except one, which pierced his hat. He proceeded to Stamford, and having re-united his men, and obtained a reinforcement of militia, faced about, and pursued General Tryon on his return.
As the British occupied, with a strong garrison, Stony Point, some miles to the south of Washington's camp, on the 15th of July, he despatched General Wayne, with a small detachment, to dislodge them. This expedition, though an exceedingly bold and hazardous one, was completely successful. After a very obstinate defence, in which Wayne was wounded, the fort was carried by storm, the garrison, to the number 543, were taken prisoners, 63 being killed, and the standards, ordnance and military stores, fell into the hands of the conquerors. This was considered one of the most brilliant achievements of the war. Washington did not, however, think it prudent for the present, to attempt to establish himself at Stony Point; and it was speedily reoccupied by the British.
Another instance of the enterprising boldness of the Americans occurred soon after, in the surprise of the British garrison at Paulus Hook, opposite to New York, which was attacked on the 19th of July, by Major Lee, who stormed the works, and took 160 prisoners, whom he brought safely to the American lines.
The joy felt by the Americans at the success of these daring enterprises, was somewhat damped by the failure of an expedition, undertaken by the state of Massachusetts, to dispossess the British of a fort which they had erected at Penobscot, in the district of Maine. They here lost the whole of their flotilla, which was destroyed or captured by
Give an account of the stormirg of Relate the affair of Paulus Hook. Stony Point.
The defeat at Penobscot. Was the post retained?
OPERATIONS IN GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA.
Sir George Collyer, whilst their land forces were compelled to seek for safety by retreating through the woods.
Spain having now declared war against Great Britain, it was hoped by the Americans that this additional pressure of foreign foes would compel the British ministry to withdraw their forces from North America. But the energies of the mother country were roused in proportion to the increase of her peril. Her fleets gave her decided superiority on the ocean, and her king was determined to strain every nerve to reduce his revolted colonies to obedience. At this period the ease with which the reduction of Georgia had been effected, and the advantages which it might afford in making an attack upon the rest of the southern 'states, induced his ininisters to renew their efforts in that quarter.
The back settlements of Georgia and the Carolinas, abounded with renegadoes and tories, who had been compelled by the republicans to withdraw into these wilds, from the more settled part of the country. These adventurers having joined the royal forces, under the command of Major-General Prescott, which had also received reinforcements from Florida, that officer found himself in a condition to commence active operations. His preparations filled the neighbouring states with alarm.
The American regular troops, had, with few exceptions, been sent from the Carolinas to reinforce the army of General Washington; and the only reliance of the patriots in this part of the country was on the militia, which congress had placed under the command of General Lincoln. On inspecting his men, Lincoln found them very ill prepared to meet the disciplined forces of the enemy, as they were deficient in equipments, badly organised, and worse drilled. In these circumstances, the active operations of the enemy allowed him no time to train them.
Soon after his arrival at head quarters, a division of the British army, under Major Gardiner, was detached from Sa-* vannah to take possession of Port Royal, in South Carolina, but was driven back with a heavy loss of men, aud nearly all their officers, by General Moultrie. This repulse daniped the ardour, and suspended the enterprise of the British, who took
What is said of Spain and Great Bri- | What description of forces joined the tain ?
standard of General Prescott? What induced the British to transfer Who commanded the American forces
their operations chiefly to the in the south?
Of what did they consist
DEFEAT OF GENERAL LINCOLN.
post at Augusta and Ebenezer, situated on the Savannah river.
Here they waited in expectation of being joined by a body of tories, who had been collected in the upper parts of South Carolina. These reputable allies of the British had no sooner begun their march towards Augusta, than they commenced such a series of atrocities against the peaceful inhabitants, that they rose en masse, to oppose them. Colonel Picken, with about 300 volunteers, pursued and came up with them near Kettle creek, where he totally routed them, killed about 40, with their leader, Colonel Boyd, and dispersed the rest. Some of them afterwards gave themselves up to be tried by the laws of South Carolina, for violating the sedition act. Seventy of them were condemned to die; but only five of the ringleaders were executed. This proceeding led to acts of retaliation on the part of the tories, and the king's troops, which for a long time gave a peculiar character of atrocity to the war in the southern states.
Encouraged by this success, General Lincoln sent an expedition into Georgia, with a view of repressing the incursions of the enemy, and confining them to the low country near the
The detachment, consisting of 1,500 North Carolina militia, and a few regular troops, under General Ash, crossed the Savannah, and took a position on Briar creek ; but he was surprised by Lieutenant-Colonel Prevost, who made a circuitous march of 50 miles, and came upon his rear with 900 veterans. The militia were thrown into confusion at once, and fled at the first fire ; 150 of the Americans were killed, 162 taken, some were drowned in attempting to cross the Savannah, and only 450 escaped to the camp. This event cost General Lincoln one-fourth of his army, and opened a communication between the British camp at Savannah, and the Indian and tory friends of the British in North and South Carolina.
In this disastrous state of affairs the legislature of South Carolina invested their governor, Mr. John Rutledge, and his council, with an almost absolute authority, by virtue of which a considerable force of militia was embodied and stationed near the centre of the state, to act as necessity might require.
Lincoln now determined to carry the war into the enemy's
What is related of the tories?
Give an account of the battle of Briar
creek. What were the effects of this defeat? Who was made dictator in South
GENERAL PREVOST BEFORE CHARLESTON.
quarters; and with the main army, he crossed the Savannah, near Augusta, and marched towards the capital of Georgia. Prevost instantly took advantage of this movement, to invade South Carolina, at the head of 2,400 men, and compelling General Moultrie, who was charged with the defence of Charleston, to retire, he pushed forward towards that city.
At this time his superiority was so decisive, and his prospects so bright, that Moultrie's troops began to desert in great numbers, and with real or affected zeal embraced the royal cause. On his appearance before Charleston, the garrison of that place, consisting of 3,300 men, sent commissioners to propose a neutrality on their part during the remainder of the war. This advantageous proposal, he was im politic enough to decline, and made preparations to attack the town, which was tolerably well fortified.
Whilst he had been wasting time in negotiations, General Lincoln had been hastening from Georgia to the relief of the place; and on his approach, Prevost, fearing to be exposed to two fires, withdrew his forces across Ashley river, and encamped on some small islands bordering on the sea-coast. Here, on the 20th of June, he was attacked by General Lincoln, with about 1,200 men, but succeeded in giving him a repulse with the loss of 150 men, in consequence of the failure of a part of the American general's combinations.
Notwithstanding this success General Prevost did not think it advisable to maintain his position, but retreated to Port Royal, and thence to Savannah.
The Americans, under the command of Lincoln, soon afterwards retired to Sheldon, a healthy situation in the vicinity of Beaufort, about half way between Charleston and Savannah. Both armies now remained in their respective encampments in a state of tranquillity until the beginning of September, when the arrival of a French fleet on the coast roused the whole country to immediate activity.
Count d'Estaing had proceeded, towards the close of the preceding year, from Boston to the West Indies, whence, after capturing St. Vincents and Grenada, he had returned to the assistance of the Americans. At the sight of this arma
Whither did Lincoln march?
What occasioned Prevost's retreat? What advantage did Prevost take of What happened on the 20th of June ! this movement?
Whither did Prevost retire after de Who retired before him ?
feating Lincoln? What did the garrison at Charleston Whither did the Americans retire ? offer?
What news roused them to action! Was the offer accepted ?
What is said of d'Estaing?
ment, which consisted of 20 sail of the line, and 13 frigates, the republicans exulted in the sanguine hope of capturing their enemies, or of expelling them from the country. The militia poured in from the surrounding region in great numbers, and uniting with the regular force, under General Lincoln, marched for the vicinity of Savannah.
Before their arrival d'Estaing had summoned the town to surrender, and had granted General Prevost a suspension of hostilities for 24 hours, for the purpose of settling the terms of a capitulation. But during this interval, a reinforcement of several hundred men had forced their way from Beaufort for his relief. Encouraged by this seasonable aid, Prevost determined to hold out to the last extremity.
The allied forces, therefore, commenced the siege of Savannah in form. On the 4th of October the besiegers opened with 9 mortars, and 37 pieces of cannon, from the land side, and 15 from the water. On a report from the French engineers, that a considerable time would be consumed in conducting the siege by regular approaches, d'Estaing, who was apprehensive of injury to his fleet from hurricanes at that season of the year, determined on an assault.
In conjunction with Lincoln, he led his troops to the attack with great gallantry; but a heavy and well directed fire from the batteries, and a cross fire from the British galleys, threw their front columns into confusion. Two standards were planted on the enemy's batteries, but after 55 minutes of hard fighting it was found necessary to order a retreat. Count d'Estaing, and Count Pulaski, were both wounded; the former slightly, the latter mortally. Six hundred and thirty-seven of the French, and upwards of 200 of the continentals and militia, were killed or wounded. The damage sustained by the British was trifling. Immediately after this unsuccessful assault, the militia retired to their homes ; Count d'Estaing reembarked his troops and artillery, and sailed from Savannah; and General Lincoln, recrossing the Savannah river, returned to South Carolina.
The visit of the French fleet to the coast of America, although unsuccessful in its chief object, was not altogether
ess to the United States. It disconcerted the measures of
What is said of the militia ?
What was the loss?
French fleet to the Americans ?