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safety, executed their commission. Early in January the commander in chief ascertained that Clinton was about to embark from Bos- Chap. LVIII.} 1776. Jan. ton, with troops, on a southern expedit continental congress. On the fourth, Lee entered the city of New York, just two hours after Clinton anchored in its harbor. Troops from the Jerseys and from Connecticut at the same time marched s, suffered from a series of complicated wants. Both parties wished to delay extreme measures; Clinton pledged his honor that for the present no more British troops were coming, and said openly thathad them avoid all disputes, till New York should be recovered. When Lord Dunmore learned from Clinton that Cape Fear River was the place appointed for the meeting Chap. LVIII.} 1776. Jan. of the rtnight more than nine thousand four hundred men had risen against the enemy; and the coming of Clinton inspired no terror. They knew well the difficulty of moving from the sea into their back count
to port; the Americans, on the contrary, were poorly cared for and poorly paid: the British had abundance of artillery; the Americans had almost no large guns that were serviceable: the British had a profusion of ammunition; the Americans scarce enough to supply their few cannon for six or eight days; and yet the British had no choice but to dislodge the New England farmers or retreat. Left very much to himself, Howe knew not what to pro- Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. pose; neither Burgoyne nor Clinton was with him to share his responsibility. If they retain possession of the heights, said Admiral Shuldham, I cannot keep a ship in the harbor. A council of war was called, and it was determined to assault the Americans. Washington had provided for the contingency; and had the British made a vigorous sally against the party at Dorchester, the Americans had floating batteries and boats ready to carry four thousand men into Boston. All day long the neighboring hills which commanded a view
t colony, proud of its victory over domestic enemies, and roused to defiance by the presence of Clinton, the British general, in one of their rivers, met in congress at Halifax on the fourth of Aprile of the sea-coast to the king's government. The fleet and transports, designed to act under Clinton, did not leave Cork harbor till February; they were scattered by a storm soon after going to ses. What was to be done with the formidable armament, was the first question for deliberation. Clinton inclined to look into the Chesapeake, which would bring him nearer New York; but Lord William Cn Sullivan's Island which was the key to the harbor, were in an imperfect and unfinished state, Clinton was induced to acquiesce in the proposal of the commodore to attempt the reduction of that fortsoner, burned and ravaged the plantation of the North Carolina brigadier, Robert Howe; and Sir Henry Clinton, in conformity with his instructions from the king, issued his proclamation on the fifth o
my and the naval force. On the seventh, when Clinton would have sent on shore a proclamation by a n by a channel navigable for boats of draft. Clinton had had four days time to sound the ford; buth an order from Rutledge. On that same day Clinton began his disembarkation, landing four or fivd; and on the sixteenth he communicated it to Clinton, who did not know what to do. The dilatory coation at every outpost and also in town. But Clinton intended only to occupy and garrison Sullivanld take and keep possession of the fort, till Clinton should send as many troops as he might think six pounder, which overlooked the spot where Clinton would wish to land. Seeing the enemy's boa been cut to pieces. It was impossible, says Clinton, to decide positively upon any plan; and he de point of being evacuated. If this were so, Clinton afterward asked him, why did you not take poshat he had no prospect of speedy support from Clinton. But the pause was owing to the scarcity of [5 more...]
of near fourteen hundred the firelocks were bad; more than eight hundred had none at all; three thousand eight hundred and twenty seven, more than half the whole number of infantry, had no bayonets. Of the militia Chap. LXIX.} 1776. July 1. who had been called for, only about a thousand had joined the camp; and with this force the general was to defend extensive lines against an army, near at hand, of thirty thousand veterans. An express from Lee made known, that fifty three ships with Clinton had arrived before Charleston, of which the safety was involved in doubt. A more cheering letter which Chase had forwarded by express fiom Annapolis, brought the first news of the unanimity of the Maryland convention, whose vote for independence was produced and read. The order of the day came next, and congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole to take into consideration the resolution respecting independency. For a few minutes, perfect silence prevailed; every one felt th