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In 1798, an army was raised, and he was appointed commander in chief.
In December 13, 1799, while attending to some improvements upon his estate, he was exposed to a light rain, which wetted his neck and hair. Unapprehensive of danger, he passed the afternoon in his usual manner, but at night he was seized with an inflammatory affection of the windpipe. The disease commenced with a violent ague, accompanied with some pain and a sense of stricture in the throat, a cough, and a difficult deglutition, which soon succeeded by fever and a quick and laborious respiration. About twelve or fourteen ounces of blood were taken from him. In the morning his family physiciani, doctor Craik, was sent for; but the utmost exertions of medical skill were applied in vain. To his friend and physician who sat on his bed, and took his head in his lap, he said, with difficulty, • Doctor I am dying, and have been dying for a long time; but I am not afraid to die." Respiration became more and more protracted and imperfect, until half past eleven on Saturday night, wlien, retaining the full possession of his intellect, he expired without a struggle. Thus, on the 14th of December, 1799, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, died the father of his country, “ the man first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens.” This event spread a gloom over the country, and the tears of America proclaimed the services and virtues of the hero and sage, and exhibited a people not insensible to his worth.
General Washington was rather above the common stature; his frame was robust, and his constistution vigorous. His exterior created in the beholder the idea of strength united with manly gracefulness. His eyes were of a grey colour, and his complexion light. His manners were rather reserved than free. His person and whole
deportment exbibited an unaffected and indescribable dignity, unmingled with haughtiness, of which all who approached him were sensible. The attachment of those who possessed his friendship was ardent, but always respectful. His temper was humane, benevolent, and conciliatory; but there was a quickness in his sensibility to any thing apparently offensive, which experience had taught him to watch and correct.
He conducted the war with that consummate prudence and wisdom, which the situation of his country and the state of his army demanded. He also possessed a firmness of resolution, which neither dangers nor difficulties could shake.
WAYNE, ANTHONY, a major-general in the American army, occupies a conspicuous station among the heroes and patriots of the American resolution. He was born in the year 1745, in Chester county, in the state, then colony of Pennsylvania. His father, who was a respectable farmer, was many years a representative for the county of Chester, in the general assembly, before the revolution. His grandfather, who was distinguished for his attachment to the principles of liberty, bore a captain's commission under king William, at the battle of the Boyne. Anthony Wayne succeeded his father as a representative for the county of Chester, in the year 1773; and from his first appearance in public life, distinguished himself as a firm and decided patriot. He opposed, with much ability, the unjust demands of the mother country, and in connexion with some gentlemen of distinguished talents, was of material service in preparing the way for the firm and decisive part which Pennsylvania took in the general contest.
In 1775, he was appointed to the command of a l'egiment, which his character enabled him to raise in a few weeks, in his native county. In the same year, he was detached under general Thompson into Canada. In the defeat which followed, in which general Thompson was made a prisoner, colonel Wayne, though wounded, displayed great gallantry and good conduct, in collecting and bringing off, the scattered and broken bodies of troops.
In the campaign of 1776, he served under general Gates, at Ticonderoga, and was highly esteem-ed by that officer for both his bravery and skill as an engineer. At the close of that campaign he was created a brigadier-general.
At the battle of Brandywine, he behaved with his usual bravery, and for a long time opposed the progress of the enemy at Chad's ford. In this action, the inferiority of the Americans in numbers, discipline and arms, gave them little chance of success; but the peculiar situation of the public mind was supposed to require a battle to be risked; the ground was bravely disputed, and the action was not considered as decisive. The spirits of the troops were preserved by a belief that the loss of the enemy had equalled their own. As it was the intention of the American commander in chief to hazard another action on the first favourable opportunity that should offer, general Wayne was detached with his division, to harrass the enemy by every means in his power. The British troops were encamped at Tredyffrin, and general Wayne was stationed about three miles in the rear of their left wing, near the Paoli tavern, and from the precautions he had taken, he considered himself se. cure; but about eleven o'clock, on the night of the 20th September, major-general Gray, having driven in his pickets, suddenly attacked him with fixed bayonets. Wayne, unable to withstand the superior number of his assailants, was obliged to retreat; but formed again at a small distance, having lost about 150 killed and wounded. As blaine was attached. by some of the officers of the army, to
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general Wayne, for allowing himself to be surpris. ed in this manner, he demanded a court martial, which, after examining the necessary evidence, declared that he had done every thing to be expected from an active, brave, and vigilant officer; and acquitted him with honour.
A neat marble monument has been recently erected on the battle ground, to the memory of the gallant men who fell on the night of the 20th September, 1777.
Shortly after was fought the battle of Germantown, in which he greatly signalized himself, by his spirited manner of leading his men into action. In this action, he had one horse shot under him, and another as he was mounting, and at the same instant, received slight wounds in the left foot and left hand.
In all councils of war, general Wayne was distinguished for supporting the most energetic and decisive measures. In the one previous to the battle of Monmouth, he and general Cadwalader were the only officers decidedly in favour of attacking the British army. The American officers are said to have been influenced by the opinions of the Europeans. The baron de Steuben, and generals Lee and Du Portail, whose military skill was in Irigh estimation, had warmly opposed an engagement as too hazardous. But general Washington, whose opinion was in favour of an engagement. made such disposition as would be most likely to lead to it. In that action, so honourable to the American arms, general Wayne was conspicuous in the ar-, dour of his attack. General Washington, in his letter to congress, observes, “Were I to conclude my account of this day's transactions without expressing my obligations to the officers of the army in general, I should do injustice to their merit, and violence to my own feelings. They seemed to vie with each other in manifesting their zeal and bra
very.' The catalogue of those who distinguished themselves, is too long to admit of particularizing individuals. I cannot, however, forbear mentioning brigadier-general Wayne, whose good conduct and bravery, throughout the whole action, deserves particular commendation.”
In July, 1779, the American commander in chief having conceived a design of attacking the strong post of Stony Point, committed the charge of this enterprise to general Wayne. The garrison was composed of 600 men, principally highlanders, commanded by lieutenant-colonel Johnson. Stony Point is a considerable height, the base of which, on the one side, is washed by the Hudson river, and on the other is covered by a morass, over which there is but one crossing place. On the top of this hill was the fort; formidable batteries of heavy artillery were planted on it, in front of which, breast works were advanced and half way down, was a double row of abattis. The batteries commanded the beach and the crossing place of the morass. Several vessels of war were also in the river, whose guns commanded the foot of the hill. At noon, on the 15th of July, general Wayne marched from Sandy Beach, and arrived at eight o'clock in the evening, within a mile and a half of the fort, where he made the necessary disposition for the assault. After reconnoitering the situation of the enemy, at half past eleven, he led his troops with unloaded muskets and fixed bayonets, and without firing a single gun, completely carried the fort and made the garrison, amounting to 543, (the rest being killed) prisoners. In the attack, while at the head of Febiger's regiment, general Wayne received a wound in the head with a musket-ball, which, in the heat of the conflict, supposing mortal, and anxious to expire in the lap of glory, he called to his aids to carry him forward and let him die in the fort. The resistance, on the part of the garrisonk.