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a final effort, until the other column had succeeded in its or maneuvres. The left column, led by Generals Howe andera Cornwallis, was composed of two-thirds of the whole strengthenti of the British army. It was decided to make a considerable ja circuit towards the left, and crossing the forks of the Brandyan wine above, to descend against the American right, at the e same time that the column at Chadd's ford should make ar brisk charge in front. Washington, on being advised of the la: separation of the columns, immediately conceived the bold. design, of leaving Generals Sullivan and Sterling to keep Howe and Cornwallis in check, and crossing the ford himself with the bulk of his force, to attack Kniphausen. While issuing his orders for this movement, information was. brought him by Colonel Bland of Virginia, contradicting the first intelligence, and declaring the movement of the second column to be only a feint to divide the American strength, and that it had already commenced its return to join the Germans at Chadd's ford. In the uncertainty produced by these confused accounts, the order was countermanded, and the Americans continued their defence of the ford, under the expectation that Kniphausen would soon attempt to force a passage, supported by the whole British strength. At two o'clock, he had not made the attempt, and all doubt of the course of the left column was dissipated by intelligence that Generals Howe and Cornwallis had crossed the forks of the Brandywine, and were in full march down the north side of the river, against the American right. An immediate change of plan was ordered by Washington. Wayne was left to dispute the passage of the ford with Kniphausen, who was about making his concerted charge; Sullivan was ordered to march a division to the right, to oppose the advancing column, and General Greene, with his corps, was posted in the centre, as a reserve, to succor either party, as the circumstances might require. It was four o'clock before Sullivan reached ground: upon which he could form, and before his right was properly in order, the enemy, under Cornwallis, attacked that side of his force, which instantly gave way, and the disorder spread irretrievably until the whole division was routed. As soon as the firing was heard in this direction, Washington in person, with General Greene and his corps, hastened to the aid of Sullivan, but arrived only in time to check the career of the enemy and cover the retreat of the flying troops. A Virginia brigade under General Weedon, Colonel Marshall's
Virginia regiment, and Colonel Stewart's Pennsylvania regiment, displayed the most determined spirit, and kept up the action with Cornwallis till night put a stop to it, and General Greene drew off his troops in safety. Wayne had been compelled to give way before Kniphausen, and the day terminated in the success of all the leading plans of the enemy. The whole American army retreated to Chester that same night, and soon after to Philadelphia. Their loss was computed at three hundred killed, six hundred wounded; and nearly five hundred prisoners; they also lost ten fieldpieces and a howitzer. The British loss was much less, not amounting to five hundred in all, of which the slain were about one hundred.
The French officers behaved with gallantry, and were of great service to the Americans. One of them, the Baron St. Ovary, was made prisoner; and the Marquis La Fayette, while rallying his troops with spirit and activity, was wounded in the leg, but refused to quit the field. Count Pulaski, a noble Pole, who had distinguished himself at home, led on the light-horse with undaunted gallantry, and Congress testified their sense of his merit, by promoting him to the rank of brigadier, and giving him the command of the cavalry.
The British followed up their successes the next day, by seizing upon Wilmington, on the Delaware.
The loss of the battle did not produce the dispiriting effect upon Congress or the army, which might have been anticipated. The coolness and courage with which many of the regiments had behaved, rather tended to beget a higher tone of confidence. Measures were taken to prevent any depression among the people, and to reinforce the army, and to manifest a feeling of perfect security. Fifteen hundred troops were fent from Peekskill; large detachments of militia summoned from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and a brigade of the regular line under General Smallwood, from Alexandria, to strengthen the army of Washington. The commander-in-chief was authorized to impress all horses, wagons, and provisions, necessary for the army. The general orders which he issued spoke in terms of commendation of the behavior of the army in the late engagement, and promised them success in another battle. Having allowed them to rest a day in the environs of Germantown, he resolved to try another general action, before yielding Philadelphia to the enemy With this determination he recrossed the Schuylkill on
the 15th of September, and marched to face the Sept. 15th.
British army, which was advancing upon Philadelphia by the Lancaster road. He took up a position at the Warren tavern, about twenty-three miles from Philadelphia, with the double object of covering his stores which were deposited at Reading, and waiting to give the enemy battle. The next morning the advance guards of the armies commenced an engagement which lasted only a few moments. A violent storm came on, which separated the combatants ; the rain fell in such quantities and with sach force, for the whole of that day and the next, that both parties were obliged to remain inactive, and the consequences compelled the American army to retreat immediately. It was found that their ammunition was damaged, and the gun-locks and cartridge-boxes, from defective construction were unfit for use. On the 18th, Washington filed off towards Reading, the enemy being unable, from the effects of the same storm, to pursue him. He ascended the Schuylkill, crossed it to obtain a supply of ammunition, and on the 19th, recrossed it at Par
ker's ferry, and took up a position, on Parkyomy Sept. 19th.
creek, fortifying the passes and fronting the advancing enemy, with the determination of risking a battle.
A severe disaster occurred at this time to the republican forces. On recrossing the Schuylkill, Washington had detached General Wayne with 1500 men, to join the corps of Smallwood, and harass the rear of the enemy, with instructions to conceal his movements. While encamped near the Paoli tavern, his position was discovered, and he himself surprised by a British detachment under General Grey The out-posts and picquets were forced without noise, on the night of the 20th of September, and before the soldiers could form, a murderous slaughter commenced. When they did form, under a fierce attack, it was unfortunately in front of their fires, which exposed them to the charge of the British, and three hundred of them were bayonetted, with the loss of only eight of the enemy. Wayne, with great exertions, succeeded in rallying some of his soldiers and covering the retreat of the survivors.
Howe could now safely push forward towards Philadelphia Washington was before him, with an inferior army and with two most important points to defend. He could not protect the extensive magazines of provisions and military stores, established at Reading, without exposing the capital, almost
undefended, to be taken by a movement of the British army to the right, and crossing the Schuylkill. He could only hope to save Philadelphia, by interposing his army at once between General Howe and the capital, abandoning his stores, and risking a final and probably a fatal battle. The soldiers were fatigued and worn out, by constant marchings and counter-marchings, since the landing of the British at the Elk, on the 26th of August. Since the defeat of Brandywina, they had been exposed to heavy rains, without covering, destitute of stores, and scantily supplied in all things, and had crossed and recrossed several large streams, almost daily. To hazard both the capital, the army, and the stores,
in a single action, under such circumstances, was decided : by Washington, to be too rash a scheme to be risked, although
the calls of the citizens of Philadelphia for another battle were loud and urgent. He determined to abandon the city: and on a movement of the British on the west bank of the Schuylkill towards Reading, the American army retreated rapidly up the stream to Pottsgrove, leaving the lower road open to the enemy. On the night of the 23d of September, the whole British army was on the left bank of the Schuylkill; between Washington and the capital, and three days afterwards, General Cornwallis, without opposition, took possession of the city of Philadelphia with part of his
Sept. 26. troops. The rest of the army was left in position at Germantown. Four regiments were posted in the city.
Congress, on the retreat of Washington from the Warren tavern on the 18th, considering themselves insecure in Philadelphia, had adjourned immediately to Lancaster. The public archives and stores were removed to the same place. On the fall of Philadelphia, they retired to Yorktown. Before removing, they invested Washington with the same dictatorial powers, as had been granted after the reverses in New Jersey. Some of the leading citizens in Philadelphia, chiefly Quakers, who were disaffected to the American cause, were arrested and sent to Virginia, as a measure of precaution.
On the occupation of the city by the enemy, Washington led his army, consisting of about eleven thousand men, -eight thousand regulars, and three thousand militia, ---along the left bank of the Schuylkill; and encamped them at Schippack creek, about eleven miles from Germantown. The British fleet, which had landed the army in the Ches.
apcake, were now ordered round into the Delaware. Foreseeing this, the Americans had taken early steps to obstruct the navigation of the river, so that the vessels could not pass up. Cheveaux de Frise were sunk in the river, and forts erected on Mud Island, at Red Bank, opposite on the Jersey shore, and at Billing's Point, on the same shore below. Mud Island is about seven miles below Philadelphia. In the channel between Mud Island and Red Bank, double rows of Cheveaux de Frise were sunk, consisting of large pieces of timber strongly clamped, and pointed with iron. These were protected by galleys, floating batteries, and armed ships.
The fort on Mud Island was called Fort Mifflin, and that upon Red Bank, Fort Mercer.
It was important to Sir William Howe, to destroy these works, and open a communication between the fleet and the army. The American army, lying above, would effectually obstruct all supplies by land; and unless means of access by water could be furnished to the fleet below, he would have been compelled to evacuate the city. Two regiments were accordingly despatched by General Howe to dislodge the Americans from Billing's Point, which was done without much difficulty. The garrison spiked the guns, and abandoned the works on the advance of the enemy. A part of the fleet was thus enabled to advance, and with great labor finally cleared out a narrow passage through the Cheveaux de Frise for the shipping. This being done, a third regiment was sent to Chester, to convoy a quantity of provisions to the camp, the whole under the command of Colonel Sterling. These three regiments, and the four battalions in Philadelphia, being separated from the main body, Washington determined to surprise the army of Howe at Germantown; and accordingly moved down rapidly from his camp at Schippack creek, on the evening of the 3d of October, and reached Germantown early on the 4th. His army had been strengthened by a reinforcement from Peekskill, and a body of Maryland militia. The British lines crossed the valley of Germantown at right
angles near its centre; its flanks were strongly *o guarded, and one of them, the left, rested upon the Schuylkill. The American army was divided into several columns, which made simultaneous attacks by different roads, upon the enemy's positions, and at first success seemed certain. About sunrise, General Sullivan drove in the British