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serious business. The garrison was on the alert, and in a severe skirmish with a large party near the town, the Partisan was repulsed. He then retired to Snow's Island, at the confluence of Lynch's Creek and the Pedee, where he fixed his camp, and secured it by such works of art as the absence of natural defenses required. It was chiefly high river swamp, dry, and covered with a heavy forest, filled with game. From that island camp, Marion sent out and led detachments 'nis occasion required; and for many weeks, expeditions which accomplished wonderful results, emanated from that point. Their leader seemed to be possessed bf ubiquitous powers, for he struck blows at different points in rapid succession. The British' became thoroughly alarmed, and the destruction of his camp became, with them, an object of vital importance.' That work was accomplished in the spring of 1781, when a party of Tories penetrated to Marion's camp, during his absence, dispersed the little garrison, destroyed the provisions and stores, found there, and then fled. The Partisan was not disheartened by this misfortune, but pursued the marauder some distance, and then wheeling, he hastened through the then overflowed swamps to confront Colonel Watson, who was in motion with a body of fresh troops, in the vicinity of the Pedee.
While these events were progressing at the South, others of great importance were transpiring at the North. As we have observed,' military operations were almost suspended in this region during the year, and there were no offensive movements worthy of notice, except an invasion of New Jersey, in June. On the 6th of that month (before the arrival of Clinton from Charleston), Knyphausen dispatched General Matthews from Staten Island, with about fivo thousand men, to penetrate New Jersey. They took possession of Elizabethtown (June 7], and burned Connecticut Farms (then a hamlet, and now thọ village of Union), on the road from Elizabethtown to Springfield. When the invaders arrived at the latter place, they met detachments which came down from Washington's camp at Morristown, and by them were driven back to the coast, where they remained a fortnight. In the mean while Clinton arrived, and joining Matthews with additional troops [June 22], endeavored to draw Washington into a general battle, or to capture his stores at Morristown. Feigning an expedition to the Highlands, Clinton deceived Washington, who, with a considerable force, marched in that direction, leaving General Greene in command at Springfield. Perceiving the success of his stratagem, he, with Knyphausen, marched upon Greene, with wbout five thousand infantry, a considerable body of cavalry, and almost twenty pieces of artillery: After a severe
Here was the scene of the interview between Marion and a young British officer from Georgetown, so well remembered by tradition, and so well delineated by the pen of Simms and the pencil of White. The officer who came to treat respecting prisoners, was led blindfolded to the camp of Marion. There he first saw the diminutive form of the great partisan leader, and around him, in groups, were his followers, lounging beneath magnificent trees draped with moss. When their business was concluded, Marion invited the young Briton to dine with him." He remained, and to his utter astonishinent he saw some roasted potatoes brought forward on a piece of bark, of which the general partook freely, and invited his guest to do the same. "Surely, general," said the officer,
this can not be your ordinary fare !" "Indeed it is," replied Marion, “and we are fortunate on this occasion, entertaining company, to have more than our usual allowance." It is related that the young officer gave up his commission on his return, declaring that such a people could not be, and ought not to be subdued.
? Page 309.
3 Page 259.
skirmish at Springfield, the British were defeated June 23, 1780), and setting fire to the village, they retreated, and passed over to Staten Island.
Good news for the Americans came from the East, a few days after this invasion. It was that of the arrival, at Newport, Rhode Island, on the 10th of July (1780), of a powerful French fleet, under Admiral Ternay, bearing six thousand land troops under the Count de Rochambeau. This expedition had been expected for some time, it having sailed from Brest early in April.
The whole matter had been arranged with the French government by La Fayette, who had returned from France in May, and brought the glad tidings to the Americans. With wise forethought, the relation between Washington and Rochambeau had been settled by the French government. In order to prevent any difficulties in relation to command, between the American and French officers, the king commissioned Washington a lieutenant-general of the empire. This allowed him to take precedence of Rochambeau, and made him commanderin-chief of the allied armies. Soon after his arrival, Rochambeau, by appointment, met Washington at Hartford, in Connecticut, to confer upon their future movements. The season being so far advanced, that it was thought imprudent for the French army to enter upon active duties during the current campaign, it
was determined to have the main body of it remain in camp, on Rhode Island, while the cavalry should be cantoned at Lebanon, in Connecticut, the place of residence of Jonathan Trumbull, governor of that State. That eminent man was the only chief magistrate of a colony who retained his office after the change from royal to Republican rule; and throughout the war, he was one of the most efficient of the civil officers among the patriots.
The arrival of the French caused Clinton to be more circumspect in his movements, and he made no further attempts to entice Washington to fight. Yet he was endeavoring to accomplish by his own strategy, and the treason of an American officer, what he could not achieve by force. At different times during the war, the British officials in America had tampered, directly or indirectly, with some Americans, supposed to be possessed of easy virtue, but it was late in the contest before one could be found who was wicked enough to be a traitor. Finally, a recreant to the claims of patriotism appeared, and while the French army were landing upon Rhode Island, and were preparing for winter quarters there, Clinton was bargaining with Benedict Arnold for the strong military post of West Point, and its dependencies among the Hudson Highlands, and with it the liberties of America, if possible.
Arnold was a brave soldier, but a bad man. He fought nobly for freedom, from the beginning of the war, until 1778, when his passions gained the mastery over his judgment and conscience. Impulsive, vindictive, and unscrupulous, he was personally unpopular, and was seldom without a quarrel with some of his companions-in-arms. Soon after his appointment to the command at Philadelphia, he was married to the beautiful young daughter of Edward Shippen, one of the leading loyalists of that city. He lived in splendor, at an expense far beyond his income. To meet the demands of increasing creditors, he engaged in fraudulent acts which made him hated by the public, and caused charges of dishonesty and malpractices in office to be preferred against him, before the Continental Congress. A court-martial, appointed to try him, con
: 1. Jonathan Trumbull was born at Lebanon, Connecticut, in June, 1710, and was educated at Harvard College. He prepared for the ministry, but finally became a merchant. He was a member of the Connecticut Assembly at the age of twenty-three years. He was chosen governor of Connecticut in 1769, and for fourteen consecutive years he was elected to that office. He died at Lebanon, in August, 1785, at the age of seventy-five years. See page 323.
? During the spring and summer of 1778, the passes of the Hudson Highlands were much strengthened. A strong redoubt called Fort Clinton (in honor of George Clinton, then governor of New York), was erected on the extreme end of the promontory of West Point. Other redoubts were erected in the rear; and upon Mount Independence, five hundred feet above the Point, the strong fortress of Fort Putnam was built, whose gray ruins are yet visible. Besides these, an enormous iron chain, each link weighing more than one hundred pounds, was stretched across the Hudson at West Point, to keep British ships from ascending the river. It was floated upon timbers, linked together with iron, and made a very strong obstruction. Two of these floats, with the connecting links, are preserved at Washington's Head Quarters, at Newburgh; and several links of the great chain may be seen at the Laboratory, at West Point. .
3 While yet a ere youth, he attempted murder. A young Frenchman was an accepted suitor of Arnold's sister. The young tyrant (for Arnold was always a despot among his play-fellows) disliked him, and when he could not persuade his sister to discard him, he declared he would shoot the Frenchman if he ever entered the , house again. The opportunity soon occurred, and Arnold discharged a loaded pistol at him, as he escaped through a window. The young man left the place forever, and Hannah Arnold lived the life of a maiden. Arnold and the Frenchman afterward met at Honduras, and fought a duel, in which the Frenchman was severely wounded.
* Note 3, page 287.