« ПредишнаНапред »
He was received by General Gates with a noble cordiality, that did honour to his heart ; and on the succeeding day the command was transferred to him in the following general orders. “The honourable Major General Greene, who arrived yesterday afternoon in Charlotte, being appointed by his Excellency General Washington, with the approbation of the honourable Congress, to the command of the Southern army, all orders will for the future issue from him, and all reports are to be made to him.— General Gates returns his sincere and grateful thanks to the Southern army, for their perseverance, fortitude and patient endurance of all the hardships and sufferings they have undergone while under his command. He anxiously hopes their misfortunes will cease therewith ; and that victory, and the glorious advantages attending it, may be the future portion of the Southern army.” The conduct of General Greene on this unpleasant occasion evinced his great delicacy, and undiminished respect for the unfortunate Gates. He publickly thanked him for his polite reception, and as a further compliment, confirmed by general order, all the standing orders of Gates.
General Gates remained no longer than was necessary to make the requisite communications to his successour, of whom he took an affectionate leave, and proceeded slowly towards the north. Where he had a few months before been met with greetings and shouts of welcome, he was now received with cold politeness, or chilling indifference; nor until he arrived at Richmond, the capital of Virginia, did he see a smile of recognition or hear a whisper of condolence or consolation under his misfortunes. His splendid victory at Saratoga was forgotten in his more recent
WOL. 11. 47
defeat. But thus it is ever with the world, always ready to minister to the pride of success, and ever prone to shun or insult misfortune. The Legislature of Virginia, however, made an honourable exception to this remark. As soon as they heard of the Generals arrival, they appointed a committee of their body to wait on him with the assurance of their high regard and esteem ; “ that the remembrance of his former glorious services cannot be obliterated by any reverse of fortune, but that this house ever mindful of his great merit, will omit no opportunity of testifying to the world, the gratitude which as a member of the American Union, this country owes him in his military character.” This kindness from so important a number of the union, made a deep impression on the mind of General Gates; and the subsequent respectful reception which he met with from the commander in chief, tended to soothe the feelings with which he now retired to his farm never more to mingle in the strife of his country.
General Gates had scarcely resigned the command of the army, when intelligence arrived of a skirmish between a part of Morgan’s corps and a foraging party of the enemy. Morgan had attempted with his infantry to intercept one of those parties who had advanced into the country some distance from their main body, but they managed to elude his efforts. Washington, however, who with his cavalry had taken a more extensive circuit, advanced to Clermont, where agarrison of 100 men under Lieutenant Colonel Rudgely, were posted in a block house, or rather a log barn, impenetrable to small arms, and secured from the attack of cavalry by a surrounding abbatis. It had been Washington's intention to carry this place by surprise, but finding this impracticable, he resorted to a ruse de guerre which procured the surrender of the garrison without a shot. By advancing his cavalry so as to show only their front, some of the rear were enabled to dismount unperceived; and having worked a pine log into the rough semblance of a piece of artillery, it was brought up with great parade and pointed against the house. This done, the commanding officer was summoned to surrender, and seeing no hope of being able to stand a siege, he obeyed the summons without hesitation; and having taken care of the prisoners, and demolished the barn and abbatis, Washington returned in triumph to his brigade. Immediately after this event, General Greene moved with the main body of the army, and established himself on the eastern bank of the Pedee, nearly opposite Cheraw hill, a part of the country, which not only afforded abundant supplies for his troops, but of. fered a convenient rendezvous for the militia. General Morgan had received a reinforcement of 500 militia, under General Pickens, which gave him a respectable brigade, with which he took post near the confluence of the Pacolet and Broad rivers. General Leslie arrived at Charleston with the succours to Cornwallis on the 13th of December; and leaving a part of his troops for the protection of that city, he marched immediately with the remainder, amounting to 1500 to Cambden, where Carnwallis had ordered him to join him. In this situation we must leave the two armies, to bring the minor incidents of the year to a close. Congress among other resolutions relating to the army, in October, resolved that all officers who continued in service to the end of the war, should receive half pay for life. About the same time, Major Hen
the command of the two was given to General Smallwood. By the beginning of October, the army was further reinforced by the arrival of Colonel Morgan, who was in himself a host, and the cavalry under Washington and White. The arrival of Morgan made some change in the disposition of the troops necessary. Four companies of infantry under Lieutenant Colonel Howard, the cavalry, and a small body of Virginia riflemen, were formed into a separate corps, and placed under Morgan, who was ordered to march with them towards Salisbury, to cooperate with the North Carolina militia, the command of which had been given by the legislature to General Smallwood. Lord Cornwallis, having at length received the necessary supplies, prepared to enter upon active operations for the conquest of North Carolina. He despatched Colonel Ferguson with his corps of light infantry and militia to the frontiers of North Carolina, and Tarleton with his legion to scour the country west of the Wateree, while his lordship moved on the 8th of September to the Waxhaws, where he halted until Tarleton joined him. Colonel Davie who was stationed in this settlement with his partizan corps, was compelled to move off on the approach of Cornwallis, and establish himself at Providence. From this place he conducted a successful enterprise against a foraging party of the enemy, consisting of light troops and loyalists, on the southern banks of the Catawba. He came upon them unperceived on the morning of 21st of September, at a plantation which belonged to Wahab, one of his captains, and compelled them to fly in great confusion, with the loss of 60 of their number killed and wounded, 96 horses,
and 120 stand of arms. But the British army were too near to remain long in ignorance of this transaction ; a sufficient number speedily collected, and Colonel Davie, in his turn, was compelled to retreat, while the enraged enemy, in view of the unhappy Wahab, set fire to his house and left his helpless wife and children without a shelter. In the mean time, Colonel Ferguson having advanced beyond the frontiers of North Carolina into Tryon county, ravaging and laying waste the whole country on his march, received intelligence from Lord Cornwallis of an unsuccessful attack upon Augusta, by Colonel Clarke, and orders to intercept him in his retreat. Colonel Clarke, of whose enterprising spirit, we have before had occasion to speak, had never lost sight of the hope of recovering Augusta, and having collected a body of hardy mountaineers, determined upon attacking it, while defended only by a weak garrison of 150 men under Colonel. Brown. The latter officer on the approach of Clarke withdrew his garrison from the town and retired towards Garden Hill, where, in spite of the vigorous attack of Clarke with 700 men, he succeeded in establishing himself in a strong position. All the efforts of Colonel Clarke to reduce this brave officer with his little band to submission were unavailing; cut off from provisions and water, Colonel Brown still maintained his position for four days, when the arrival of Colonel Cruger with a reinforcement from NinetySix, relieved him from his unpleasant situation, and forced Colonel Clarke, whose ammunition was exhausted, to withdraw his troops." Colonel Ferguson, who believed himself safe from the attack of any enemy in his neighbourhood, posted himself on King's