« PředchozíPokračovat »
CHAP: the bayonet, another gave relief. Ferguson passed from
point to point, and cheered and rallied his men ; but sud1790. denly his white charger was seen dashing down the moun
tain-side without a rider : he had fallen by a rifle-ball. The animating spirit was gone ; the British and Tories grounded their arms and surrendered at discretion. Three hundred had been killed or wounded, and more than eight hundred were made prisoners. The backwoodsmen lost but twenty slain and a somewhat larger number wounded. Ten of the Tories, who had been especially cruel toward their countrymen, were hanged upon the spot.
The backwoodsmen disbanded and returned home; their victory had revived the drooping spirits of the southern patriots. The battle of King's Mountain bore the same relation to Cornwallis, that the battle of Bennington did to Burgoyne ; and both were won by the undisciplined yeomanry.
When Cornwallis heard of the defeat of Ferguson he retreated from Salisbury to Winnsborough, in South Carolina. In one portion of the country Marion appeared, but Tarleton forced him to retreat to the swamps. Then the active Sumter appeared in force again, and repulsed a detachment sent against him. Tarleton went in pursuit, but Sumter learned of his approach, and began to retreat rapidly, while Tarleton pressed on with his usual vigor. Sumter chose an advantageous position ; Tarleton attacked him, but was repulsed, and in turn forced to retreat. Sumter was severely wounded; he was compelled to retire for some months; his band, in the mean time, separated. .
Gates now advanced South to Charlotte. Here he was overtaken by Greene, who, on the suggestion of Washington, had been appointed by Congress to the command of the southern army. Congress had also ordered an inquiry into the conduct of Gates.
Greene found the remnants of the army in a miserable
CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTH-THE ARMED NEUTRALITY.
condition, without pay, without necessaries, and their CHAP:
XXXVI. clothes in rags. To increase the army, divisions were sent from the North. Morgan with a regiment, Lee’s body of 1780. horse, and some companies of artillery, were with Gates when Greene arrived.
During this time, a civil war, almost savage in its character, was raging all over the Carolinas. Little parties of Whigs and Tories fought with each other whenever they met; they ravaged each others' neighborhoods, and plundered the people of their furniture, and even of their clothes.
The year was about to end, with the British power triumphant in the three southern States. In Georgia the royal government was re-established, while the important points held in the Carolinas gave the enemy almost the entire control of those States. The numerous Tories were exultant, while the whole country was nearly exhausted by the long continuance of the war.
During the summer of this year, it was thought England would find abundant employment for her armies and navy nearer home. Because she had the power, by means of a vast navy, she assumed the right to board the ships of any neutral nation, and to search for merchandise contraband of war—a practice as arbitrary and arrogant as it was unjust and injurious. Queen Catharine, of Russia, would submit no longer to the imposition. She proposed to enter into a combination, known as the “Armed Neutrality,” with Denmark and Sweden, to enforce the policy that "Free ships make free goods." That, in time of war, ships of neutral nations could carry merchandise without liability to seizure by the belligerent powers. The British ministry hesitated to enlist the whole maritime world against their commerce, that was already suffering uch. Holland gave indications that she was willing, t only to join the “armed neutrality,” but to enter into commercial treaty with the United States. This inten
CRAP. tion became known by the capture of a correspondence on XXXVI,
the subject. The vessel on board of which Henry Laurens, 1780. the American Minister to Holland, had sailed, was cap
tured by an English frigate. Laurens threw the papers overboard, but an English sailor leaped into the water and recovered them.
Laurens was descended from one of the many Huguenot families that sought an asylum in South Carolina ; nor did he belie the nobleness of his ancestry. He was taken to England and confined a close prisoner in the Tower of London, on a charge of high treason, plied with inducements to desert his country's cause, but without avail. He stood firm, and was finally liberated, to proceed to Paris, there to aid in negotiating a treaty with England herself, on behalf of his country, which had fought its way to independence.
The British ministry demanded that this correspondence should be disavowed, but the States-General, with their usual coolness, gave an evasive answer. England declared war immediately, and her fleet. exhibited their thirst for plunder by entering at once on a foray against the commerce of Holland throughout the world.
England now had reason to be alarmed at surrounding dangers. Spain joined France, and their combined fleets far outnumbered hers in the West Indies. Holland declared war against her, while nearer home there was danger. Eighty thousand Irishmen had volunteered to repel a threatened invasion from France; but now these volunteers, with arms in their hands, were clamoring against the oppression that England exercised over their industry and commerce, and threatened to follow the example of the American colonies in not using British manufactures ; and, what was still more ominous, demanded that the Irish Parliament should be independent of English control. The whole world was affected by these struggles. Spain sent her ships to prey upon English commerce, and
THE ENERGY OF ENGLAND,
an army to besiege the English garrison at Gibraltar. CHAP.
XXXVI. France had armies against her in America and in Indiaboth aiding rebellious subjects. To meet these over- 1780. whelming powers, England put forth gigantic efforts. We must admire the indomitable spirit, that steady energy, with which she repelled her enemies, and held the world at bay.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION-CONTINUED.
The Spirit of Revolt among the Soldiers.-Arnold ravages the shores of the
Chesapeake.--Battle of the Cowpens.—Morgan retreats; Cornwallis pursues.-Greene marches South.-Lee scatters the Tories.- Battle of Guildford Court House.-Conflict at Hobkirk's Hill.-The Execution of Hayne.—Battle of Eutaw Springs.—Plans to Capture New York.Wayne's Daring at the James River.-National Finances.—Robert More ris.-French and American Armies on the Hudson.-Clinton deceived.Combined Armies beyond the Delaware.-French Fleet in the Chesapeake.-Cornwallis in the Toils.—The Attack; Surrender of the Brit ish Army and Navy.—Thanksgivings.
CHAP. The last year of the struggle for Independence opened, XXXVII.
as had all the others, with exhibitions of distress among 1781. the soldiers. The regiments of the Pennsylvania line, en
camped for the winter near Morristown, grew impatient at the indifference of Congress to their necessities. In truth, that body was more or less distracted by factions, and made no special efforts to relieve the wants of the
soldiers. Thirteen hundred of these men, indignant at Jan. such neglect, broke out in open revolt, and under the 1.
command of their sergeants, marched off toward Philadelphia, to lay their complaints before Congress.
General Wayne, to prevent their pillaging, sent after them provisions ; he himself soon followed, and urged them to return to their duty. The sergeants, at his instance, proposed to send a deputation to Congress, and to the Pennsylvania Assembly, but the soldiers refused to