Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

fome cannon at Salem, but the people had intelligence of the design ; took up the draw bridge in that town, and prevented the troups from paffing, until the cannon were fecured ; so that the expedition failed.

16. In April, colonel Smitli, and major Pitcairn, were fent with a body of troops, to destroy the military stores which had been cullected at Concord, about twenty miles from Boston. At Lexington' the militia were collected on a green, to oppose the incurfion of the Britis forces. These were fired on by the British troops, and eight men killed on the spot.

17. The militia were difperfed, and the troops proceed. ed to Concord; where they destroyed a few stores. But ou their return, they were inceffanıly 'harrassed by the Americans, who, infamed with just refentment, 'fired apon them from kouses and fences, and pursued them to Befton.

18. Here was'spilt the first blood in the late war; a war which fevered America from the British empire. Lexington opened the Arst fcene of the great drama, which in its progress exhibited the most 'illustrious characters and events, and closed with a revolution, equally glorious for the actors, and important in its confequences to the

19: This battle roused all America. The' militia collected from all quarters

, and Boston was in a few days befieged by twenty thousand men. A stop was put to all intercourse between the town and country, and the inhabitants were reduced to great want of provisions.

20. General Gage promised to let the people depart if they would deliver up their arms. The people complied ; but when the general had obtained their arms the prefidias wre

retch refuled to let the people ge. '1421. In the intan time a small nuinber of men, under the command of colonel Allen, and colonel Easton, without'any public orders, furprised and took the British garrison' at Ti conderoga, without the loss of a 'man.

22. In June following, our troops attempted to fortify Bunker's hull, which lies in Charlestown, and but a inile and a half from Boston. They had, during the night, thrown up a finall breaff work, which sheltered' them from the fire of the British cannan,

human race.

23. But the next morning, the British army was feat to drive them from the hill, and landing under cover of their cannon, they set fire to Charlestown, which was consumed, and marched to attack our troops in the entrenchiments. A fevere engagement ensued, in which the British fuffered a very great loss boih of officers and privates.

24. They were repulsed at first, and thrown into dilo order; but they finally carried the fortification with the point of the bayonet. , The Americans suffered a small loss, compared with the British ; but the death of the brave general Warren, who fell in the action, a martyr to the cause of his country, was severely felt and universally lamented.

25. About this time, the Continental Congress appoint. ed George Washington, Esq. a native of Virginia, to the chief command of the Anerican army. This gentleman had been a distinguished and successful officer in the preceding war, and he feemed destined by Heaven to be the faviour of his country.

26. He accepted the appointment with a diffidence which was a proof of his prudence and his greatness. He refused any pay for eight years laborious and arduous fer. vice, and by his matchless skill, fortitude and perfeverance, conducted America through indescribable difficulties to independence and peace.

27. While true merit is esteemed, or virtue honored, mankind will never cease to tevere the memory of this hero ; and while gratitude remains in the human brealt, the praises of WASHINGTON fhall dwell on every Amerioan tongue.

28. General Washington, with other officers appointed by Congress, arrived at Cambridge, and took commaid of the American army in July. From this time, the affairs of America began to assume the appearance of a regular and general opposition to the forces of Great Britain.

29. In autumn a body of troops, under the command of general Montgomery, befieged and took the garrison of St. John's, which commands the entrance into Caneda. The prisoners amountd to about seven hundrede General 'Montgoinery pursued his fuccefs, and took Montreal: and designed to pufu his vitories to Quebece

30. .

A body of troops commanded by Arnold, was or. dered to march to Canada, by the river Kennebek, and through the wildernefs. After fuffering every hardship, and the most diftreffi ng 'hunger, they arrived in Canada, and were joined by general Montgomery before Quebec. This city, which was commanded by governor Carleton, was immediately besieged. But there being little hopes of taking the town by a siege, it was determined to storm it.

3'r. The attack was made on the last day of December, but proved unsuecessful, and tatal to the brave general, who with his aid, was killed in attempting to scale the walls.

32. Of the three divisions which' attacked the town, one only entered, and that was obliged to furrender to fue perior force. After this defeat, Arnold, who now commanded the troops, continued fome months before Quebec, although his troops suffered incredibly by cold and sickness. But the next spring, the American's were obliged to retreat from Canada.

32. About this time the large and flourishing town of Norfolk, in Virginia, was wantonly burnt by order of lord Dunmore, the royal governor.

34. General Gage went to England in September, and was succeeded in the cominand by general Howe.

35. Falmouth, a confiderable town in the province of Mame, in Maflachusetts, shared the fate of Norfolk ; being laid in afhes by order of the Britishi admiral.

36. The British king entered into treaties with some of the German princes for about seventeen thousand men, who were to be sent to America the next year, to assist in fubduing the colonies. The British parliament also pa fied an act, forbidding all intercourse with Ajnerica ; and while they repealed the Bofton port and fishery bills, they declared all American property 011 the high feas, forfeited to the cap ors.

37. This act induced Congress to change the mode of carrying on the war; and niealures were taken to annoy the enemy in Boston. For this purpose batteries were opened on several hills, from whence thot and bombs were thrown into the town. But the batteries which were opened on Dorchester point had the best effect, and foon obliged general Howe to abandon the town. In

"March, 1776, the British troops embarked for Halifax, and general Washington entered the town in triumph.

38. In the ensuing summer, a small squadron of ships, *commanded by Sir Peter Parker, and a body of troops, "under the generals Clinton and Cornwallis, attempted to wake Charlestown, the capital of South Carolina, The

thips made a violent attack upon the fort on Sullivan's *INånd, but were repulsed with great" loss, and the expedi'tion was abandoned.

39. In July, Congress published their declaration of independence, whichforever separated "America from Great-Britain. This great event took place two hundred and eighty-four years after the firft discovery of America by Columbus ; one hundred and seventy from the first effcctual fettlement in Virginia ; and one hundred and fifty-fix from the firft settlement in Plymouth in Malfa. chusetts, which were the earliest Englila settlements in America.

40. Juft after this declaration, general Howe, with a powerfol force, arrived near New-York, and landed the troops upon Stater i hand. General Washington was in New-York with about thirteen thousand men, encamped either in the city or the neighbouring fortifications.

41. The operations of the British began by the action on Long Idand in the month of August. The Americans were defeated, and general Sullivan and Lord Stirling, with a large body of men, were made prisoners. The night after the engagement, a retreat was ordered and *executed with such filence, that the Americans left the inand without alarming their enemies, and without loss. 42.

In September, the city of New-York was abandoned by the American army, and taken by the Englifa.

43. In November, fort Washington, on York-Idand, was taken, and more than two thoufand 'men made prisoners. Fort Lee, opposite to Fort Washington, on the Jersey fhore, was foon after taken, but the garrifon escaped.

44. About the same time, General Clinton was sent with a body of troops to take poffeffion of Rhode-Ifand, and succeeded. In addition to all these lolles and defeats, the American army suffered by desertion, and more by

nefs, which was epidemic, and very mortal.

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »