Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

by which he had been inveigled, were of the said John Paulding, David Wilnot fulfilled. But a bafied treason liams, and Isaac Van Wart. appears always to be overpaid, and the “ In testimony whereof, felon is the only one who thinks that “ Ordered, That each of them rehe experiences injustice.

ceive annually, out of the public treaHe enjoyed, however, the rank of sury, two hundred dollars in specie, brigadier-general in the English army, or an equivalent in the current money and served against the Americans in of these states, during life ; and that this capacity during the rest of the the board of war procure for each of war. The English affected to give them a silver medal, on one side of him their entire confidence, hoping to which shall be a shield with this in. make thereby other apostates. He scription : « Fidelity,”—and on the published addresses to the inhabitants other, the following motto : Vincit of America and to the army, in which amor patriæ, and forward them to he exhorted them to emancipate them- the commander in chief, who is reselves from the tyranny of their dema. quested to present the same, with gogues. He inveighed with particu. a copy of this resolution, and the lar asperity against France, “ the ene- thanks of Congress, for their fidelity, my of the protestant faith, and frau- and the eminent services they have rendulently avowing a regard for the li- dered their country.!! berties of mankind, while she held her Doubtless, the highest honours native sons in vassalage and chains." should, by universal consent, be awardHe justified his perfidy by the topics ed to those citizens, who have been of reasoning common to traitors ;– fortunate enough to preserve their which deceive no one, and still less country from a great calamity. It is themselves.

of such distinctions, that men of an All these efforts were nugatory.- elevated character are most ambitious Arnold is the only American officer of proving themselves. worthy. But who forsook the cause of indepen- there is yet more merit and virtue ia dence, and turned his sword against doing well without ambition or the his country. The officers of the Bri- hope of reward. tish army manifested a strong repug These three young men had not nance to serve with him. He possess. thought of blazoning an action in ed their esteem, while he fought against which they had but performed their them. They loaded him with con- duty. They learned with surprise, tempt, when treason brought him over that Washington had caused search to to their side. The rest of his life be made for them, in order to deliver was exceedingly wretched. His vices to them this memorial of public esteet plunged him in an abyss of misfortune, or gratitude. Their families are held which his general qualities were ill in veneration, and the names of John adapted to soften.

Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac General Washington had not for. Van Wart, will be celebrated and chegotten the three young militia-men rished in all after ages. who arrested André. He transmitted The issue of a plot on which Engtheir names to Congress. This body land had built such towering hopes, immediately passed the following resóand which was contrived with so much lution:

art, corroborated the discipline of the " That Congress have a high sense American army; raised the courage, of the virtuous and patriotic conduct and increased the strength of the rea

publicans. They were confirmed in this providence they owed their safety, the hatred which they bore their ene that of Washington, and of the army. my: The danger from which they Thanks were solemnly offered up to had just escaped, as if by miracle, God in the temples, and in the bosom taught them the necessity

of redou. of families; and it was from the botbling their vigilance, and of excluding tom of their hearts that these religious from their counsels, the more effectu men poured out the tribute of their ally to guard the unanimity of them, gratitude. all

persons who were not of tried vir. Prosperous until now in all their tue.

enterprizes, may heaven preserve to This nation of Americans, who have them the spirit of justice and moderano doubts of a Divine Providence even tion by which they have been conin the most inconsiderable events, ac. stantly guided ! Fortune will not fail knowledged, on the occasion, that to them.

AN ACCOUNT

OF THE

OPERATIONS OF THE FRENCH ARMY

IN THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

DURING

THE WAR OF THEIR INDEPENDENCE ;

TRANSLATED FROM TUB FRENCH OF THE MEMOIRS OF MARSHAL COUNT DE

ROCHAMBEAU.

The troubles in America beginning the affairs of America; she had deto engage us in her quarrel, it was fended herself almost alone, since the resolved to send to that country a beginning of her revolution, against corps of auxiliary troops, of which the whole force of England. The the king gave me the command. more vigorous her efforts had been,

I had been preceded in that contie the less was she able to renew them. pent by the Count d'Estaing, whose Her Congress, in this difficult moment, brilliant successes after the taking of resolved to solicit from the king of Grenada, and the naval action which France their ally, fresh succours in he had won over the English, were ships of war, in troops, and in money. rendered fruitless at Savannah in The king granted them a squadron Georgia; it was with much difficulty of seven ships, to act on their coasts, that he regained the coast of France, a body of troops amounting to four with a fleet disabled and dispersed by thousand men, and a sum of money. a violent storm.

The chevalier de Ternay was appointThe reverses which he experienced ed to command the squadron. in this expedition, a projected attack In consequence of my representaby the English at New York upon tions about the insufficiency of the Carolina, the depreciation of the con means with which I was furnished for tinental money, all these causes toge- acting at so great a distance, the king ther brought on an important crisis in immediately doubled the corps which

[ocr errors]

was intended for me; the artillery at the same time, that every means too was doubled, as well as the muni. would be used to send off as early as tions of every kind: every thing ap- possible the second division. Conpertaining to the department of war trary winds detained the convoy and was set in motion towards Brest with squadron in port until the 2d of May, a diligence almost unexampled, and 1780, and the same winds detained at arrived at that port early in April, the Bourdeaux the transports of the second time fixed for the embarkation. The division. At length we were obliged department of the marine was not so to obey peremptory orders. Fifteen expeditious; the sailing of the fleet of days before this time, La Fayette, M. de Guichen with the supplies of who was returning to the American munitions and troops which were sent army, with the rank of Major Gene. to our own colonies, had drawn alí ral, which his services in America had the transport-ships from Brest. The procured him, embarked in a frigate minister of the marine gave tardy at the Isle of Aix, with a commissary orders to have some brought from charged to announce the sailing, and Bourdeaux, but they were detained by prepare at Rhode Island, for the decontrary winds, so that upon my arri. barkation and supplies of the French val at Brest I found only vessels troops. enough to embark one half of the After a month of contrary winds troops which were destined for Ame- and delay in Brest-roads, the Chevarica.

lier de Ternay took advantage of a M. de Choiseul used to say, that wind in the night of the 1st and 2d of the watch of M. de Sartine, the mini- May to set sail with his whole convoy, ster of marine, was always too slow; which got to sea without accident; and upon this occasion the remark but was met by a violent gale in the was ' strictly applicable. The exer- gulf of Gascony; the fleet was distions of N. Hector, commandant of persed for four days during which the the marine at Brest, procured a small storm lasted; but upon a change of addition, the whole sufficing for the wind soon got together again and embarkation of five thousand men. doubled Cape Finisterre. 'The EngWe made the strongest remonstrances lish admiral had sailed with the same to our respective departments against northerly wind; but the tempest havthe impropriety of dividing into halves ing overtaken him before he had clear. a body of troops already too weak; ed the channel, he was obliged to rebut the preparations which were mak- gain a port, by which means the ing in England to arm a squadron to French convoy got considerably the be sent in pursuit of us; the advan- start. Our voyage, after having passtage which this squadron would pos- ed to the south of the Azores, was sess in sailing without a convoy ; the easy, but slow and protracted by necessity of a prompt departure, and calms. On the 20th of June, being above all, the urgency of affairs in to the south of the Bermudas, we desAmerica, requiring a speedy and ef. cried a squadron of six ships making fective succour, determined the coun towards the convoy under a press of cil to dispatch a positive order to us, sail; the chevalier de Ternay ranged to separate into two divisions the corps his transports behind his line and destined for the United States, and moved towards the enemy, who was to set sail with the first favourable astonished to see seven sail of the wind with what troops could be col. line come forth from a groupe of merlected for the first. We were assured chant vessels, in order of battle. The

5

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

bulk of their squadron kept the wind; sengers informed us, that the garrison one of their vessels, however, fell of New York, since the return of within reach of our line, which pur- those troops, amounted to fourteen sued her so closely that she was very thousand men, and that Arburthnot near being taken. The Chevalier de expected every day to be joined from Ternay observing that one of his ships, England by Admiral Graves

, and to Le Provence, although crowded with operate afterwards with their united canvass, could not keep up, and occa forces. On the evening of the same sioned a gap in our line, and fearing day the Chevalier de Ternay obserthat the enemy's squadron, which ved, within the capes of the Chesawas to windward, might take advan- peake, eleven large ships which our tage of the circumstance to cut her oldest sailors took for ships of war. off, and afterwards fall upon the con We conjectured that they were the voy, made signal to slacken sail to the six ships which we had already en. two ships which preceded him: the countered on the 20th, united io the English vessel took advantage of this force of Arburthnot or of Graves, and to tack and join her squadron, recei. which were waiting to attack us in ving the fire of all our line, which, their turn. The orders of the Che. however, did not disable her. The valier de Ternay directing him to distwo squadrons kept up a cannonade embark at Rhode Island, he tacked until sunset. The Chevalier de Ter- about, changed his course in the nay continued his route with the con- night, and steered for Rhode Island. voy, the security of which he prefer. It was a fine opportunity which we red to the personal honour of captu- had missed; for the eleven sail, as we ring an enemy's ship.

were afterwards informed, were a conWe learned afterwards that this voy on their way from Charleston to English squadron was commanded by New York, escorted by a few frigates. Captain Cornwallis, and was return- But the Chevalier de Ternay, anxious ing to Jamaica, after having escorted only for the arrival of his convoy at fifty merchant vessels as far as the the place of destination, studiously Bermudas.

avoided every engagement which Some days subsequent, the French could only redound to his personal squadron took an enemy's cutter con- glory. veying a number of officers from He entered at last, on the 12th of Charleston to the West Indies. We July, a harbour of Rhode Island, after learned from them the siege and cap a navigation of seventy days. The ture by the English of that capital of squadron of Admiral Graves followed the Carolinas. We found soundings close upon us, and arrived the next on the 4th of July, and concluded day at New York. The storm which that we were only a short distance we had encountered in the Bay of from the coast of Virginia. We took Biscay, obliged that officer to reanother enemy's vessel, the papers on turn to Plymouth, where he was de. board, of which confirmed the capture tained fifteen days. In the neighof Charleston, and the return to New bourhood of the Western Islands he York of Admiral Arburtbnot's squa- captured a ship belonging to the dron, with the body of troops who had French India Company, which being maintained the siege under General richly laden he took in tow: this reClinton. He had left five thousand tarded his arrival and saved our conmen at Charleston under the com roy, which would have been roughly mand of Lord Cornwallis. The pas- handled if the squadron of Graves,

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »