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ed with earth, were well calculated to resist the impression of cannon. During the height of the attack, the batteries of the provincials were silent, so that it was conclud. ed that they had been abandoned; but this was found to proceed from want of powder; for, as soon as a supply of this article was obtained, the firing was resumed as brisk as before. During the whole of this desperate engagement, it was found impossible for the land forces to render any assistance to the fleet.

The enemy's works were found to be much stronger than had been imagined, and the depth of water effectually prevented them from making any attempt. In this unsuccessful attempt, the loss of the British in killed and wounded was two hundred. The Bristol and Experiment, were so much damaged, it was thought they could not get over the bar ; this they accomplished, however, by great exertion of naval skill, to the surprise of the provincials, who had expected to have made them both prizes. It was said the Americans lost considerable in this engagement.

In the beginning of March, commodore Hopkins, was dispatched by Congress, with five frigates to the Bahama islands, where he made himself master of the ordnance and military stores ; but the gunpowder which had been the principal object, was removed. On his return he captured several vessels ; but was foiled in his attempt on the Glasgow frigate, which found means to escape, notwitli. standing the efforts of the whole squadron.

Hitherto the Americans had been generally successful, they had now to experience misfortune, misery and disappointment; the enemy over-running the country, and their own armies not able to face them in the field. The province of New-York, being the most accessible by sea, was made the object for the main attack The force sent against it, consisted of six ships of the line, thirty frigates, besides. other armed vessels, and a vast number of transports. The fleet was commanded by lord Howe, and the land forces by his brother, general Sir William Howe, who was now at Halifax. The latter, however, had set sail a considerable time before his brother arrived, and lay before New-York, but without attempting to commence hostilites, until he should be joined by his brother.


The Americans had, according to custom, fortified New York, and the adjacent islands in an extraordinary

General Howe, notwithstanding was suffered to land bis troops on Staten island, where he was soon joined by a number of inhabitants. About the middle of July, lord Howe arrived with tne grand armament, and being one of the commissioners appointed to receive the submission of the colonists, he published a circular letter to the several governors, who had lately been expelled from their provinces, desiring them to make the extent of his commission, and the powers he was invested with by parliament, as public as possible.

Here, however, the Congress saved him trouble, by ordering his letter and declaration to be published in all the newspapers,

That every one might see the insidi. ousness of the British ministry; and, that they had noth. ing to trust to, besides the exertion of their own valour."

Lord Howe next sent a letter to general Washington ; but as it was directed - To George Washington, Esq." the general refused to accept it, as not being in a style suited to his station. To obviate this objection, adjutant. general Patterson, was sent with another letter, directed " To George Washington, &c. &c. &c.” but though a very polite reception was given to the bearer, general Washin, ton utterly refused the letter, nor could any explanation of the adjutant induce bim to accept of it. The only interesting part was that relating to the powers of the commissioners, of whom lord Howe was one.

The adjutant told him, that these powers were very ex. tensive ; that the commissioners were determined to exert themselves to the utmost in order to bring about a reconciliation; and, that he hoped the general would consider this visit as a step towards it. General Washiington replied, that it did not appear that these powers consisted in any thing else than granting pardons; and as America had committed no offence, she asked no for. giveness; and, was only defending her unquestionable rights.

T decision being now left to the sword, no time was lost, and hostiliiits commenced as soon as the British troops could be collected. This was not done b-fore the month of August, when they landed without opposition on

Long island, opposite to the shore of Staten island. Gene. ral Putnam, with a large body of troops, lay encamped, and strongly fortified on a peninsula on the opposite shore, with a range of hills between the armies, the principal pass of which was near a place called Flat-Bush ; here the centre of the British army, consisting of Hessians, took post; the left wing under general Grant, lying near the shore; and the right consisting of the greater part of the British forces, lay under lord Percy, Cornwallis, and general Clinton. Putnam had ordered the passes to be se. cured by large detachments, which was executed immer diately with those that were near ; but one of the most importance, that lay at a distance, was entirely neglected. Through this a large body of troops under lord Percy and Clinton, passed, and attacked the Americans in the rear, while they were engaged with the Hessians in front.

Through this piece of negligence their defeat became inevitable. Those who were engaged with the Hessians, first perceived their- mistake, and began a retreat towards their camp ; but the passage was intercepted by the British troops, who drove them. back into the woods, Here they were met by the Hessians; and thus were they for many hours slaughtered between two parties, no way of escape but by forcing their way through the British troops, and thus regaining their camp. in this attempt m. ny perished ; and the right wing, engaged with general Grant, shared the same fate. The victory was compleut; and the Americans lost, on this fatal day, August the twenty-seventh, upwards of one thousand men, and iwo generals : several officers of distinciion were made prisoners, with a number of privates. Among the slain, a regiment, consis'ing of young gentlemen of fortune and family in Maryland, was almost entirely cut to pieces, and of the survivors not one escaped without a wound.

The ardour of the British troops was now so great, that they could scarce be restrained from attacking the lines of the provincias ; but for this, there was now no occasion, as it was certain they could not be defenced ; but had the ardour of the soldiers been seconderl, and general Howe pursued his victory; it might have given

such a blow to the Americans, and such a turn to their affairs, that they would not have been able to have regain. ed that confidence in their own strength, which they had hitherto maintained.

Of the British and Hessians about four hundred and fifty were lost in this engagement. As none of the American commanders thought it proper to risk another' attack, it was resolved to abandon their camp as soon as possible. Accordingly, on the twenty-ninth of August, the whole of the continental troops were ferried over from Brooklyn to New York, with the utmost secrecy and silence : so that, in the morning, the British had nothing to do but to take possession of the camp and artillery which they had abandoned.

This victory, though compleat, was far from being so decisive as the conquerors imagined. Lord Howe, supposing it would be sufficient to intimidate congress into some terms, sent general Sullivan, who had been taken prisoner in the late action, to congress with a message, importing, that though he could not consistently treat with them as a legal assembly, yet he would be very glad to confer with any of the members in a private capacity ; setting forth, at the same time, the nature and extent of his power as commissioner. But the congress were not at all inclined to derogate from the dignity of character they had assumed. They replied, that the congress of the free and independent states of America could not, consistently, send any of its members in another capacity than that which they had publicly assumed, but as they were extremely desirous of restoring peace to their country upon equitable conditions, they would appoint a committee of their body to wait upon him, and learn what praposals he had to make.

The committee appointed by congress was composed of Dr. Franklin, Adams, and Rutledge. They were very politely received by his lordship; but the conference proved fruitless. The final answer of the deputies was, that they were extremely willing to enter into any treaty with Great Britain that might conduce to the good of both nations; but that they would not treat in any other character than that of Independent States. This positive deelaration put an end to all hopes of reconciliation, and it was resolved to prosecute the war with the utmost vigour.

Lord Howe, after publishing a manifesto, in which he declared the refusal of congress, and that he himself was willing to confer with all well-disposed persons about the means of restoring public tranquillity, set about the most proper methods for reducing the city of New York. Here the provincial troops were posted, and, from a great number of batteries kept continually annoying the British shipping. The East river, about twelve hundred yards in breadth, lay between them, which the British troops were extremely desirous of passing. At last the ships, after an incessant cannonade of several days, silenced the batteries; a body of troops was sent up the river to a bay, about three miles distant, where the fortifications were less strong than in other places. Here, having driven off the provincials by the cannon of the fleet, they marched directly towards the city ; but the provincials, finding that they should now be attacked on all sides, abandoned the city, and retreated to the north of the island, where their principal force was collected. In their passage thither they skirmished with the British, but carefully avoided a general engagement; and it was observed that they did not behave with that ardour and impetuous valour which had hitherto marked their character.

The British and American armies were now not above {wo miles, from each other. The former lay encamped from shore to shore, for an extent of two miles, being the breadth of the island, which, though fifteen miles long, exceeds not two in any part of the breadth. The provincials, who lay directly opposite, had strengthened their camp with many fortifications; and, at the same time, were masters of all the passes and defiles betwixt the two camps : thus were they enabled to maintain their station against an army much more numerous than their own: they had also strongly fortified a pass called King'sBridge, on the northern extremity of the island, whence they could secure a passage to the continent in case of any misfortunes.

Here general Washington, in order to inure the provincials to actual service, and at the same time, to annoy the enemy as much as possible, employed

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