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I am not what I was. I feel these years
Through the pale vista of my memory,
Grew mad with, till the colors of this earth
That they are round about!
A RELIC OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
A JOURNAL OF EIGHT YEARS' HARD FIGHTING DURING THE WAR FOR OUR INDEPENDENCE.
We have before us, through the courtesy of an obliging friend in the country, an ancient document, which can scarcely fail to interest every true American. It is the original Journal of the War for our Independence,' kept by that gallant officer, Major Allan M'LANE, father of the Hon. Louis M’LANE, late Minister to France. It was presented by the veteran writer to Gov. BLOOMFIELD, of New-Jersey, the chairman and father of the Pension Law of the United States. Attached to the journal, is the following original letter from Gen. WASHINGTON to the Board of War, in relation to the long and honorable service of the writer :
'MAJOR ALLAN M'LANE, late of the Continental Army under my command, L. S.
informs me that John Pierce, Esq., Paymaster General, and Commissioner of the Army Accounts, doth not consider himself authorized, by the Resolution of Congress, and construction of the Honorable Board of War, to adjust his claims to half pay for life, and refers the Major to Lieut. Col. H. LEE, to be provided for, with the other officers of his legion. Major M'Lane has served in the Army of the United States from the commencement of the war. Early in the year 1777, he raised a full company, which was attached to one of the sixteen additional regiments. On his joining the Continental Army, he was selected to command a party of observation; and on the incorporation of those regiments into other regiments of the several states, he was appointed to the command of Major Lee's partisan infantry, July 13, 1779, and served with great reputation in Lee's legion, till March, 1781. The Major was then transferred to the army under the BARON STEUBEN's command, in Virginia. He commanded a detachment from the Marquis De LAFAYETTE's infantry, and under the immediate orders of the Board of War, and Commander-in-chief, till after the siege of York; and he was permitted to retire on half-pay for life, on the 31st day of December, 1781.
Given under my hand and seal, at Rocky Hill,
(Signed) Geo. WASHINGTON.' "To The Hon. BOARD OF War.'
The Journal' is written in the old school style of penmanship, round and bold, in occasional antique orthography, and generally in
the second person. It extends through a period of eight years' hard fighting,' and illustrates some of the darkest periods in our country's history, in a style of modest and sententious brevity, characteristic of a true hero. But the reader shall judge for himself.
On the assembling of the first Continental Congress, M'LANE armed at his own expense, and pledged his all in support of his country. In November, 1775, he joined the Minute Men, of Virginia, under Gov. Dunmore, where he fought the enemy till January, 1776. In August of that year, he joined General Washington at New-York; and when the British landed on Long Island, he was with the American infantry as a volunteer, and fought day and night, till after the bloody battle of the 29th of August, at which time he surprised and took, near Yellow Hook, five officers, and fifteen privates, British marines, and the only prisoners taken. He passed them safely over to New-York from Brooklyn, returned to Long Island in the night, joined the Light Infantry on the lines, and remained with Washington's army until they returned to New-York. He fought all this unfortunate campaign on Harlæm Heights, White Plains, and in Jersey, at Trenton and Princeton found himself. He was soon after elevated to the rank of Captain, by Washington, and raised an hundred men with his own private funds, advancing specie for bounty. He fought hard fights at Short Hill, in Jersey, in June, 1777, and at Gray's Hill, Maryland, where he assisted the American infantry in checking the enemy, who had landed at Turkey Point, in their chase of the militia. Fought another hard battle on the 11th September, near Chadsford, on the Brandywine. Lieut. Houston and nine men fell that day.
'Gen. Washington fell back on Philadelphia, but Congress ordered him to face the enemy again, on the morning of the 16th. M’Lane skirmished with the enemy, on the Lancaster road, while Washington formed for a general action, which a heavy rain only prevented. The Lord's name be praised ! — for the army would have been cut to pieces. M'Lane hung upon the enemy's lines, until early in October, when he moved in front of Wayne to the battle of Germantown, having previously reconnoitered the enemy's position. He made the first fire upon them from Mount Airy, and followed the retreating foe as far as the market in Germantown. After this battle, the British army retired to Philadelphia. On the night of the 4th of December, however, they moved out to surprise Washington's camp; but M'Lane, at the head of a party of observation, surprised the enemy at Hunt’s Hill, and, by a close fire, harassed them all night, without the loss of one of his men. The next day at noon, he turned the enemy's right, entered Germantown, and cut off the communication between the British army and the town, for that day and night. At day-break, on the following morning, he found the enemy advancing on Washington's left, and joined Gen. Reed, while engaged with a van of the enemy; and when that officer's horse was shot under him, kept the British infantry from bayonetting him, while he had time to escape. He then followed the retreating enemy, by the Old York road, to the Globe Mill, in Front-street, where he forced five hundred of them to throw off the rails from their shoulders, which
they had collected near the Rising Sun Tavern, after burning the adjacent houses.
'In a few days after,' (we continue the Journal,) 'Gen. Washington broke up his encampment at White Marsh, moved across the Schuylkill into the woods at Valley Forge, and there halted. M’Lane was detached into the peninsula, between the Chesapeake and Delaware, at the head of a small party of horse and infantry, furnished by Gen. Smallwood, at Wilmington. He relieved both Washington's and Smallwood's armies, and on his return to his duty on the lines, in February, 1778, he fell in with Commodore Barry, at Port Penn, where he had secured four British transports at the piers. The enemy's fleet attacked Barry, and M’Lane strengthened the position with bundles of hay, from out of the transports, and kept the enemy from landing, till Barry escaped with an armed schooner. He then set fire to the transports, spiked his guns, and moved off with the British prisoners taken by Barry. He then joined Gen. Washington at Valley Forge, was detached immediately to Germantown, and hung upon the enemy's lines near the city, till they reached it. In May, he prevented the British army from destroying Lafayette's infantry at Barren Hill Church, on the Schuylkill road. Gen. Grant had turned the Marquis's left, and got into his rear in the night, and there waited for a long column of advancing Hessians. M'Lane had been joined, in the mean time, by one hundred riflemen, from Morgan's regiment, and forty Indians. He fell in with the Hessians at Van Deren's Mill, six miles from Philadelphia, and there he amused them, till the Marquis escaped Grant's vigilance. On the 18th of June, he entered Philadelphia at day-break, with a small party of horse and infantry; and while the body of the British army were moving through the city to Gloucester Point, he took one captain, four sergeants, two corporals, one provost marshal, and thirty-four privates, without firing one shot.
Before the enemy evacuated Philadelphia, M'Lane kept an account of fifty fights he had with them on the lines. He had fallen into an ambuscade of British horse and infantry, near the rocks on the Bustleton road; received the fire of the infantry; was driven to the horse; two of the troop dashed at him; he ran them off, and lost sight of the troop; then turned upon the two horsemen, drove the contents of his pistol into one, and wounded the other with the empty stock, and escaped the pursuit of the ambuscade.
A painting of this action is in Peale’s Museum. At another time, near the Rising Sun Tavern, on the Germantown road, he attacked and beat a patrol of thirteen British horse, with two American dragoons, and wounded one of the enemy. They took the horrors, and gallopped off, stating to the commanding officer of the British piquet, that the d -d rebel M’Lane had ambuscaded them, and they cut their way through it, and like to have cut him up! Gen. Arnold entered the city on the 20th. Before Arnold entered the city, William West, Deputy Clothier General, also entered, and under the authority of Gen. Arnold, purchased at his own price all the merchandise he could find, and disposed of the goods for the good of the concern, viz: Arnold, Commandant, James Maise, Clothier General, and William West, the deputy. This speculation tended to raise the
price of goods, and to injure the character of the American officers; and I believe laid the foundation for Arnold's desertion to the enemy. M'Lane got possession of a copy of the contract entered into by Arnold, Maise, and West, which was in the following words :
WHEREAS, by the purchasing goods and necessaries for the use of the public, sundry articles not wanted for that purpose may be obtained, it is agreed by the subscribers that all such goods and merchandise, which are or may be bought by the Clothier General, or persons appointed by him, shall be sold for the joint benefit of the subscribers, and be purchased at their risk. Witness our hands this 20th day of June, 1778.
M'Lane crossed the Delaware at Cooper's Ferry in the night; closed in upon the enemy's line of march, to give protection to deserters, and before the battle of Monmouth, he had passed three hundred Hessian deserters from the British army. He joined Gen. Morgan's corps, and remained with them on the British lines till they embarked at Sandy Hook. In September, he joined Gen. Scott's Light Infantry, on the British lines, near New-York Island. There he commanded a party of Indians and infantry, till the American army re-crossed the North River, and went into winter quarters. In January, 1779, his company was ordered to join Gen. Sullivan's expedition against the Indians, near Wyoming. On this expedition, he lost his Lieut. Jones ; on the 9th June, he was ordered to join Major H. Lee, near the Clove, and to command the infantry on the lines near Stoney Point. He succeeded in his observations; discovered the weak side of the British works on Stoney Point, by accompanying Mrs. Smith to the garrison on the 12th July, which led to a visit (on the 17th, before day-break, 1779,) from Gen. Wayne. We entered the works sword in hand ; secured all in it; dismantled it, and retired, in the course of forty-eight hours ! M'Lane was then ordered to Bergen Point, near Powles' Hook, where he was joined by one of his old soldiers, (Caleb Levick,) whom he had lost at the battle of Brandywine. The British had starved Caleb, till he had enlisted with them. This soldier discovered to M’Lane how the garrison at Powles' Hook might be surprised. He proved Levick's information, and communicated with Lee; formed an expedition against the Hook, and carried it in the night of 18th August, 1779, sword in hand, without any
turned the enemy's guns on the North River, on New-York, and amused ourselves with firing into the town; then spiked the guns, and moved off with the prisoners, eighteen commissioned officers, and one hundred and eighty non-commissioned officers and privates!
• In September, M'Lane was ordered to the British lines, near Sandy Hook, Monmouth county. In October, he drove the British and refugees out of the pines, on the road leading to the sea shore, where they had taken post to intercept the country people going after salt. M'Lane's party killed this fall the noted Fenton, and the Governor of Jersey presented five hundred dollars for his head, which was hung in chains at the Freehold Cross-Roads. Remained on the lines, near Sandy Hook, till January, 1780, and before the