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345 activity employed in removing the artillery and stores. On the 15th September, Clinton landed at Kipp's Bay, a position strongly fortified, and defended by eight regiments; but, dispirited by late disasters, they fled without attempting resistance, and Washington in vain strove to rally them. It was then necessary with the utmost haste to withdraw the troops, which was effected with the loss of only about three hundred prisoners; but they left behind them a large quantity of artillery, stores, and camp equipage, the want of which was most sensibly felt.

The British army now entered on the peaceable occupation of New York; yet it was disturbed by a distressing occurrence. On the night of the 20th or morning of the 21st September, a fire broke out, which continued to rage till a third of the city was consumed.

Washington now took post on Haarlem Heights, a range which crossed the island, and had been so carefully fortified that Howe did not venture an attack. His plan was to oblige the Americans to relinquish the post by landing on the eastern shore, thus threatening their rear and communication with New England. As a preliminary, three frigates were sent up the main stream of the Hudson; and notwithstanding the resistance made by Forts Washington and Lee, and by chevaux-de-frise sunk in the channel, they passed without injury. Before pushing into the interior, the British commander spent about three weeks,—seemingly a needless waste of time,-in fortifying New York. On the 12th October, having placed the flower of his army in flat-bottomed boats, he proceeded up the eastern channel, and through the pass of Hell-gate, to the point called Frog's Neck. Finding his advance here much obstructed, he reembarked and landed higher up at Pell's Point, whence he advanced upon New Rochelle. Washington, meantime, had called a council of war, which decided that the position on New York Island was no longer secure; and the troops accordingly crossed at Kingsbridge, taking up a position extending thence eastward towards White Plains, which was fortified as well as time would admit. Howe, on coming up and reconnoitring, determined to attack first a detached corps of sixteen hundred men, under General McDougall, who, after a sharp but short conflict, were dislodged; but the general position was judged so strong as to make it advisable to wait for some reirforcements. These arrived, and the attack was preparing; when, during the night of the 31st, Washington retired to a range of heights five miles in his rear, which he had been employed in

strengthening. To the cautious view of the British commander this post appeared so formidable that he determined to change the seat of war to New Jersey, a less defensible territory, whither his antagonist would be obliged to follow him.

As a preliminary, he resolved to attack Fort Washington, a strong post still held by the Americans on New York Island. He determined to attempt the place by storm; and, on the 16th November, the British, in four divisions, advanced to the assault. In a few hours they had carried all the outworks, in which the chief strength consisted; and Magaw, the governor, felt himself obliged to capitulate. The prisoners amounted to two thousand eight hundred and eighteen, rendering the loss nearly as heavy as at the battle on Long Island; while the royal army had eight hundred killed and wounded. Cornwallis immediately landed with a strong force on the Jersey shore, when the Americans found it necessary, in great haste, to evacuate Fort Lee, opposite to Fort Washington. The garrison was saved, but the cannon, tents, and stores were left behind.

The American army was now pursued through New Jersey, a level country, which afforded no defensible position, and the time was not allowed to fortify any. After a retreat of three weeks, Washington only secured himself by crossing to the opposite side of the Delaware. The critical period was again approaching, when the terms for which the troops had been enlisted would expire. Exhausted and dispirited, they eagerly availed themselves of the liberty thus afforded. He had been urging in the strongest terms upon Congress the ruinous nature of the temporary system hitherto pursued, warning them that, without a permanent and well-organized army, the cause was lost. Seconded by the disastrous state of affairs, he had been empowered to raise first eighty-eight, and then sixteen more regular battalions; to give higher bounties and pay; and to act in other respects for six months as a military dictator. The men, however, were not yet raised, and present circumstances were little calculated to invite them into the service. In crossing the Delaware, he had with him only three thousand, independent of a detachment left at White Plains under General Lee. That officer, while reluctantly obeying the order to join the main force, and suspected to be meditating some schemes of his own, was surprised and made prisoner, an event which threw additional gloom over the American prospects.

The course seemed now open before Howe to cross the Delaware

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with the utmost possible expedition, and advance on Philadelphia. Washington entertained no doubt of this being his opponent's intention; and, though its accomplishment "would wound the heart of every virtuous American," declares himself wholly without the means of preventing it.

The campaign, thus far, had been a series of great and almost uninterrupted misfortunes. Still, though the American cause seemed reduced to the lowest ebb, Congress remained firm, announcing to their countrymen and to the powers of Europe a determination to adhere immutably to the Declaration of Independence. Washington felt the weight of the evils that pressed upon the cause; yet, with a bold and firm spirit, he watched every opportunity of retrieving it. He had collected about five or six thousand men, and prevailed upon some, whose service had expired, to remain for other six weeks. The English army, covering the Jerseys, was ranged along the Delaware from Trenton to Burlington, on which line there was reason to believe that no very strict watch would be kept. Washington determined on the bold plan of crossing the Delaware, and attacking the enemy in his own camp. The

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