The old and the New revolution.
There are so many points of resemblance between the exigencies and trails of the revolution of 176 and that now progressing in the South
, that it is both instructive and encouraging to recur to the history of the former just at this time.
The Southern patrict cannot fall to derive consolation and support in his hour of anxiety by studying these resemblances.
of Monday, has so briefly and clearly presented them to its readers that we cannot do better than copy what it says, and commend it to general perusal.
We therefore place its article very prominently in our columns, as follows:
The reverses of the revolutionary War.
In the gloom which follows our recent reverses, we turn to the great example of our ancestors in a struggle very similar to that in which we are engaged, in its origin as well as its incidents.
The war of the Revolution was one in which the disparity of the contending powers was far greater than at present.
had every advantage that numbers, experience in warfare, and unlimited resources could give them.
The colonists were in awe of the superior skill and force of their enemies.
They were almost without artillery, their small arms were of the most indifferent description, and insufficient for their troops.
Their armies were badly clad and badly provided with stores.
They were enlisted for very short terms, and therefore badly disciplined and drilled.
The people of every colony were more or less divided in opinion as to the rightfulness of the contest, and some, as New York, furnished as many troops to one side as the other.
The course of the contest was sufficient to have discouraged any but the most resolute natures.
had taken months for the most elaborate preparations to subdue the colonies.
They were supreme by sea. General Washington
had concentrated his forces at New York.
He had 27,000 men. The enemy had 24,000.
He undertook to defend Long Island
, upon which he erected defences and stationed troops.
landed troops, turned his left flank, routed his army, and captured 2,000 men.
The remainder were fortunate enough to escape to the mainland.
The American army was then in great part withdrawn from the city, but such was the terror inspired by the superior military skill attributed to the British
, that the force stationed for the defence of a water battery fled from the bombardment of the enemy, and two brigades, sent to their aid, were so infected with panic that they retreated without firing a gun or seeing the enemy, and in spite of the remonstrances of Gen. Washington
and their own officers.
New York was then abandoned, with the loss of all our artillery, much of our army stores, provisions, tents, &c.
The American army behaved better at White Plains
But it was pursued by other disasters.
--rather against the advice of Gen. Washington
The garrison made a gallant defence, killing several hundred Hessians; but the British
advanced in three columns, and drove the garrison within the fort, where it surrendered.
The British captured two thousand five hundred men, with military stores, and a strong position.
This was considered the greatest calamity of the war. Fort Lee
fell next — the troops were withdrawn, but all the armament and supplies, including three hundred tents, fell into the hands of the enemy.
The effect of these blows, falling with such weight and rapidity, was intense.
The historian says the troops quitted the army ‘"by regiments, half regiments, and companies, "’ General Washington
crossed into the Jerseys, into which he was followed by a victorious enemy.
He then headed an army of only three thousand men,
besides some detachments under Lee
yielded without resistance, and no one who looked on the ‘"ragged" ’ handful of ‘"Americans
,"’ as they retreated before the superior force of the disciplined and appointed army which pursued them, could doubt that ‘"the contest approached its termination."’
It is unnecessary to follow the narrative of reverses, which ought to be read by every one, and republished for the inspection of the people.
, undismayed, turned in his celebrated night march across the Delaware
, captured 1,000 men, with arms and stores, and returned in safety.
But nothing else occurred for months to break the current of British successes.
Their army embarked in the next campaign, and for weeks Washington
was ignorant of their destination.
To avoid the forts which he had erected on the Delaware
, they ascended the Chesapeake
to march overland upon Philadelphia
, who had again recruited his temporary army, resisted their advance at Brandywine
Here, leaving a force to threaten the fords in front, the enemy made a detour and turned our right flank.
, after a short resistance withdrew.
made yet another stand to save Philadelphia
; but a violent rain so completely drenched his men that their whole stock of ammunition was rendered unfit for use,
and the army was compelled to fall back.
It is stated that at this time there were scarcely two guns of the same calibre in the army.
One regiment reviewed ninety muskets and seven bayonets.
Our night attack on Germantown
was a failure, and the enemy held Philadelphia
without farther molestation.
Their next object was to open the Delaware
wished to preserve his forts.
We strengthened, and threw men into them.
The enemy were repulsed in a land attack on one of them.
Then they brought their ships to bear, and ‘"shelled
"’ the forts until they were no longer tenable, and were abandoned.
Washington seemed never afterwards to have resisted the British on the water
or near the water — if we except the capture of Cornwallis.
were supreme on that element.
In his own words: ‘"To protect the coast from an enemy entirely in possession of the sea is impracticable.
never disbanded his army, and his victories were chiefly in the interior where the enemy was compelled to pursue him on their theory of subjugation.
We look with apprehension upon the numerous expeditions of our enemy.
How was it with the invasion of our ancestors?
A large British army held New York and the Jerseys.
Another lay unmolested at Philadelphia
An expedition, under Burgoyne
, came in through Canada
To the consternation of all, Ti conderoga, reported impregnable, fell--its capture due, in great part, to the shipping which accompanied Burgoyne.
Our stores and artillery fell into the hands of the enemy.
Another expedition advanced from the Canadian
It was composed of loyalist Canadians, with a large force of Indians Yet Burgoyne
was captured, with his army, when he penatrated to the centre of New York,
and the Indian
expeditions came to naught.
We shall not at present take up the Southern
campaign, to show Virginia
invaded, her capital occupied by the enemy, and Carolina
incapable of resistance.
We only remind our readers that in the course of the war, New York and Philadelphia
fell into the hands of the enemy, that Norfolk
was burned, and Charleston
If it were within our limits to describe the condition of the army and country at that period, our readers would be astonished at the picture.
The Confederate Treasury was without
money or credit.
The troops without arms, ammunition, or clothes.
The people without accumulated wealth or current supplies of the most necessary character.
The country was divided in opinion.
The temptations of safety and comfort were held out to the timid and mercenary.
Threats of death and confiscation published against those who persisted.
Yet the approval of Providence
, and the resolute and unyielding resistance of the people, and a mode of warfare appropriate to the emergency,
bore our ancestors triumphantly out of this most unequal and terrible strife.
When we review the present resources of our country, the many advantages which we possess, the infinitely greater difference between submitting to the hereditary rule of a distant Government and tha domination of present abolitionists, ignorant and vicious aliens, and the accumulated abomination which Northern wickedness will pour upon us — when we know that subjugation implies the confiscation of our property, with the deliberate extirpation of everything of which a Virginian is proud and the substitution of all he has been taught to apprehend and abhor — we see that, whilst our cause is far more hopeful than that of our ancestors, we have a thousand fold more motives to resist our infamous invader to an extremity of which the present condition of affairs happily affords no intimation.