Page images
PDF
EPUB

came out and informed him that Lt. Rynd Phillips, (March 27, 1781.] He was an ac. lay not far off. Lt. Col. Simcoe found him complished and able officer, but proud and dreadfully mangled and mortally wounded; passionate. Jefferson styled him the proudhe sent for an ox-cart from a neighboring est man of the proudest nation on earth.” farm, on which the unfortunate young gen- Exasperated by a tedious captity, upon his tleman was placed; the rain continued in a exchange he had been indulged by Sir Henry violent manner, which precluded all pursuit Clinton in a desire to invade Virginia and of the enemy; it now grew more tempestu. wreak his vengeance on a province where he ous and ended in a perfect hurricane, accom. had been so long detained, (unjustly, as he, panied with incessant lightning. This small not without some reason, believed,) a prisoner party slowly moved back towards Herbert's of war. Having united Arnold's force with Ferry; it was with difficulty that the drivers his own, Phillips, left Portsmouth, [April and attendants on the cart could find their 18, 1781,) and on the following day the way; the soldiers marched on with bayonets army landed at Burwell's ferry, from which fixed, linked in ranks together, covering the the militia filed precipitately. Phillips, with road. The creaking of the waggon and the the main body, marched upon Williamsburg, groans of the youth added to the horror of which he entered without any serious oppothe night; the road was no longer to be traced sition. Simcoe, detached with 40 cavalry, when it quitted the woods, and it was a great early next morning surprised a few artillerysatisfaction that a flash of lightning, which men at Yorktown, (the rest escaping across glared among the ruins of Norfolk, disclosed the York in a boat,) and burnt "a range of Herbert's house. Here a boat was procured the rebel barracks.” The British sloop, Bowhich conveyed the unhappy youth to the netta, anchored off the town. How little did hospital-ship, where he died the next day," * the parties, engaged in this petty episode,

Arnold, now ensconced within the fortifi- anticipate the great events which were descations of Portsmouth, was prevented from tined soon to make that ground classic ? The planning new schemes of devastation by the Bonetta, too, was destined to play a part in apprehensions that he now began to enter the close of the drama, Phillips embarked tain for his own safety. (Jan. 26th, 1781.] at Barrett's ferry, near the mouth of the Richard Henry Lee wrote:- but surely if Chickahominy. He here issued “the strictsecrecy and despatch were used, one ship of est orders to prevent privateers, the bane and the line and two frigates would be the means disgrace of the country which employs them.” of delivering Arnold and his people into our But these orders were disregarded. When hands, since the strongest ship here is a forty-off Westover he issued further orders saying: four, which covers all their operations. If I "A third object of the present expedition is am rightly informed, the militia, now in arms, to gain Petersburg for the purpose of destroyare strong enough to smother these invaders ing the enemies stores at that place, and it is in a moment, if a marine force was here to public stores alone that are intended to be second the land operations.”+ [Feb. 9th, seized."* [April 24th, 1781.] A body of 1781,) a French 64 gun ship, with two frigates 2,500 men, under Phillips, landed at City under Monsieur De Tilley, sailed for the Point and passed the night there. On the Chesapeake, and arriving by the 13th threat-next morning they marched upon Petersburg. ened Portsmouth. But the ship of the line Baron Steuben, with 1,000 militia, disputed proving too large to operate against the post, the entry of the town. At 2 o'clock the De Tilley, on the 19th, sailed back for Rhode British advanced. They were opposed by a Island. It was a great disappointment to the party of militia posted on the heights just beVirginians that the French admiral could not yond Blandford, under Captain House of be persuaded to send a force competent to Brunswick. The enemy were twice broken capture the traitor. Governor Jefferson of- and during two hours advanced only one fered 5,000 guineas for his head. His anx- mile, At length the Americans being flanked iety for his own safety was relieved by the by four pieces of artillery, were compelled to arrival of a re-inforcement under General retire over the Appomattox, taking up the

* Simcoe, pp. 171-172.
† Bland Payers, vol. 2, pp. 57-58.

Simcoe, pp. 190-194.

Vol. XIII-84

bridge as soon as they had crossed it. The General Phillips being taken ill, found it neAmerican loss was estimated at sixty, that of cessary to travel in a carriage. (May 9th.] the British was not ascertained. * Lieut. Col. Part of the troops were sent to City Point Abercrombie, who commanded the British in boats; the rest marched upon Petersburg infantry on this occasion, was the same who They arrived there late in the night and surafterwards fell in Egypt. Phillips, taking prised a party of American officers engaged possession of Petersburg, made his head in collecting boats for Lafayette to cross quarters at Bollingbrook. He destroyed a his army. For the purpose of covering a large quantity of tobacco and several vessels convoy on the way to General Greene's at Petersburg. The bridge over the Appo- army,* [May 10th,) Lafayette, with a strong mattox being readily repaired, Abercrombie, escort, appeared on the heights opposite with a detachment, passed over on the 26th Petersburg. The artillery under Col. Gimat and took possession of the heights opposite cannonaded the enemy's quarters. Bollingthe town. Phillips, after committing great brook, where General Phillips lay ill, was devastations at Chesterfield court-house, near so exposed to the fire, that it was found neOsborne's and at Warwick and Manchester, cessary to remove him into the cellar for proceeded down the James river as far as security. He died on the 13th. † He lies Hog Island. [May 7th.] Phillips receiving buried in the old Blandford church. Upon orders to join Lord Cornwallis returned up

his death the command devolved on Arnold. the river to Brandon. † The troops were He sent an officer with a flag and a letter to landed at once there in a gale of wind. Lafayette. As soon as he saw Arnold's name

at the foot of the letter he refused to read it,

and told the officer that he would hold no * Col. Banister, in Bland Papers, vol. 2, pp. 68-70, makes intercourse whatever with Arnold, but with the British loss not less than fourteen. Simcoe, pp. 195. 198, reports the British loss at only one killed and ten any other officer, he should be ever really to wounded.

interchange the civilities which the circumJohn Banister was the son of an eminent botanist of stances of the two armies might render dethe same name, who settled in Virginia towards the close of the 17th century and devoted himself to the sirable. Washington highly approved of this study of plants. In one of his botanical excursions near proceeding. † Already before the death of the falls of the Roanoke, he fell from a rock and was killed. General Phillips, Simcoe had been detached A plant of the decandrous class, in honor of him, is called Banisteria. As a naturalist he was esteemed not inferior to meet Cornwallis, who was advancing from to Bartram.

North Carolina. Simcoe on his route to the John Banister, the son, was educated in England and bred Roanoke captured, some miles to the South to the law at the Temple in London. Before the revolution of the Nottoway river, Colonel Gee, at his he was a member of the Virginia assembly, and early in the revolution, a deputy in the convention which met at residence, a rebel militia officer," who reWilliamsburg. Burk, iv, p. 89. He was a delegate in Con- fusing to give his parole, was sent prisoner gress from Virginia in 1778-9, and one of the framers of the to Major Armstrong. Another" rebel ColoArticles of Confederation. 178). He was Lieui. Colonel of Horse, under Brigadier General Lawson. The two nel” Hicks, mistaking Simcoe's party for an other colonels, in the same brigade, were John Mercer, af- advanced guard of Lafayette's army, was also terwards Governor of Maryland, and James Monroe, sub-made prisoner.

At Hick's Ford a captain sequently president of the United States. During the inVasions which Virginia was subjected to, Col. Banister was

with thirty militia-men were taken by a ruse actively engaged in the efforts made to repel the enemy. de guerre and compelled to give their paroles. Proprietor of a large estate he suffered repeated and heavy Simcoe on his return towards Petersburg losses from ihe depredations of the British. At one time, it is said, that he supplied a body of troops,

met with Tarleton and his “legion clothed

then on their way to the southward, with blankets at his own private ex

in white' at Hicks' Ford. § pense. He resided at Battersea, near Petersburg. He married first, Mary, daughter of Theodorick Bland Sr., and second, Anne, sister of Judge Blair of the Federal Court.

* Almond's Remembrancer for 1781, p. 108. of an excellent and well cultivated mind and refined man. ners, he was in private life amiable and upright, in public

+ Lee 286. Marshall in Life of Washington, Vol. I, p. generous, patriotic, and enlightened. As a writer always 435, in note, has inadvertently said, that “ Phillips died the clear, correct and easy, often elegant and vigorous-he

day on which he entered Petersburg." he ranked with the first of his day. A number of his let.

Spark's Writings of Washington, vol. 8, p. 61. ters have been published in the Bland Papers.

$ Simcoe, pp. 207-208-210. † Seat of Benjamin Harrison.

may

[ocr errors]

of horse. [July 19th, 1779.] Major Lee disCHAPTER XXXV.

tinguished himself by surprising the British

garrison at Powles Hook, where he captur1781.

ed 160 prisoners, with the loss of only two

killed and three wounded of his own men. Henry Lee; John Tyler; Cornwallis enters Virginia ; La Congress in reward of this achievement, pre

fayette retreats; Simcoe's expedition to the Point of sented him with a gold medal. Early in Fork; Tarleton's expedition to Charlottesville ; Corn.

1780 Lee, now Lieutenant Colonel, with his wallis marches towards the Point of Fork ; Devastations of the enemy; Lafayette reinforced by Wayne marches legion, joined the army of the South under to Albemarle old Court-House; Cornwallis retires to

General Greene. In this General's retreat the lower country; Is followed by Lafayette ; Skirmish before Cornwallis, Lee's legion formed part at Spencer's plantation; Cornwallis prepares to cross of the rear-guard of the American army. the James near Jamestown; Lafayette makes an unsuc. During this retreat Lieutenant Colonel Lee cessful attack upon the enemy; Lafayette encamps near charging upon Tarleton's dragoons, killed West Point.

eighteen and made a Captain and several Henry Lee was born January 29th, 1756, privates prisoners. After Greene had effect

Henry Lee was born January 29th, 1756, ed his escape, he detached Lee with Colonel in Virginia. His family was old and res- Pickens to watch the movements of Cornpectable and his father was for many years a wallis. Lee with his legion, by a stratagem, member of the house of Burgesses of Vir- surprised four hundred armed loyalists under ginia. Henry receiving the early part of his colonel Pyle, of whom ninety were killed education from a private tutor at home, af

and many wounded. At the battle of Guilterwards pursued his studies at the college ford Lee's legion distinguished itself. When of New Jersey, under the presidency of the Cornwallis retired upon Wilmington, it was celebrated Dr. Witherspoon * and was grad

by the advice of Lee, that General Greene uated there, [1774,) in his eighteenth year. moved at once into South Carolina. Lee de(1776.) When twenty years of age, on the tached with his legion joined the militia under nomination of Patrick Henry, he was ap- the gallant Marion. Forts Watson, Motte pointed Captain of one of six companies of

and Granby speedily surrendered. Lee now cavalry raised by Virginia, the whole being

joined Pickens for the purpose of attacking under command of Col. Theodorick Bland.

Fort Augusta, which was reduced. In the (September, 1777.] The regiment joined the

unfortunate assault upon Fort Ninety-Six, main army, where Lee by his discipline, vigi- Lee was entirely successful in the part of lance and efficiency, soon won the confidence

the attack entrusted to his care. At the bat, of Washington, who selected him and his tle of the Eutaw Springs, he contributed to company for a body-guard at the battle of Ger

the success of the day. maytown. While Leelay near the British lines a plan was devised to cut him off.

A body

John Tyler was born at his father's resi

dence about four miles from Williamsburg, of 200 cavalry surprised him in his quarters,

in the county of James City, in the year a stone house where he had with him but Yet with these he made a gallant

1748. His father, whose name he bore, was

marshal for the colony of Virginia under the defence and obliged the enemy to retreat, after having lost four men killed, together royal government and his mother was the with several horses and an officer with three daughter of Doctor Contesse of Williamsprivates wounded. Of his own party besides burg, one of the protestants driven from the patrols and quarter-master-sergeant, who

France by the Revocation of the edict of were made prisoners out of the house, he Nantes, and who finding a home in Virginia,

passed here an irreproachable and useful had but two wounded. Washington com

life. John Tyler, younger of two sons of plimented Lee on his gallantry in this little

this union, (the elder of whom died young) affair, and Congress shortly afterwards promoted him to the rank of Major with the while in Williamsbury and its vicinity, encommand of an independent partisan corps line debates of the House of Burgesses and

joyed frequent opportunities of attending • He was one of the Signers of the Declaration of In. had the good fortune to hear Patrick Henry dependence.

in the stormy discussion on his resolutions

ten men.

of 1765. The animation with which Mr.scarriages accompanied the army.

# TarleTyler in the decline of life related his recol- ton led the advance. While the main army lections of that debate; proved how deep an was yet on the left bank of the Roanoke, impression it had made on him. He became Cornwallis who had passed it, upon overtaa warm and decided opponent of the tyran- king Tarleton's detachment, ordered them to nical pretensions of the mother country, and be dismounted and formed in line for the avowed his opinions on this subject in so inspection of some of the inhabitants to enbold a tone, that his father often predicted to able them to discover the men who had comhim that sooner or later he would be execu- mitted some horrid outrages on the preceted for high treason. Mr. Tyler studied the ding evening. A sergeant and a dragoon law under Mr. Nicholas, Treasurer of the being pointed out as the offenders, were recolony. While thus engaged, he formed an manded to Halifax, condemned by a courtacquaintance with Thomas Jefferson, which martial and executed. † His lordship was ripened into a close friendship, terminated prompted to such acts of discipline, by his only by death. The society of the ardent moderation and humanity as well by a deJefferson, fanned the flame of young Tyler's sire to avoid any new exasperation of the patriotism and he became at an early day people of the country and by a hope of althe advocate of the independence of the luring to his standard the numerous loyalists colonies. About the year 1774 having ob- of North Carolina. (May 19th, 1781.) Corntained his license, he removed to the county wallis reached Petersburg. With the remof Charles City, where he took up his nant of his Carolina army he now united the permanent abode. Successful in the prac- troops under Arnold, consisting of a detachtice of the law, he was after a brief in- ment of Royal Artillery, two battalions of terval elected a delegate from that coun- light infantry, the 76th and 80th British reg. ty. He was re-elected for several years, iments, the Hessian regiment of Prince Hehis colleague for the greater part of that reditaire, Simcoe's corps of cavalry and intime, being Benjamin Harrison, Jr., of Berk- fantry called “the Queen's Rangers," chiefly ley, whom Mr Tyler succeeded as Speaker tories, one hundred yagers and Arnold's of the House of Burgesses. After the lapse American Legion, likewise tories, the whole of many years Mr. Tyler's son, of the same amounting to about 2,500 men, which togethname, succeeded General William Henry er with the Carolina army, made his lordHarrison, son of Benjamin Harrison, Jr., in ship's force at Petersburg about 4,500. The the Presidency of the Union. Mr. Tyler, entire field force now under his command in the Revolutionary patriot, while a member Virginia was not less than 7,300, including of the Virginia assembly, contracted a close 400 dragoons and 700 or 800 mounted infriendship with Patrick Henry, for whom he fantry. I He now received certain intellientertained an almost idolizing veneration. gence from Lord Rawdon of his defeat of They corresponded for many years. Mr. General Greene at Hobhick's Hill. CornTyler participated largely in the debates of wallis remained three or four days at Petersthe assembly and on all occasions exhibited burg. Light troops and spies were despatchhimself a devoted patriot and thorough-breded to discover Lafayette's position. He was republican. In subsequent years he filled found posted near Wilton, an old seat of several eminent stations. In private life his the Randolphs, on the James river, a few virtues won esteem ; in public, his talents miles below Richmond, with 1,000 regulars and worth commanded the confidence of and 3,000 militia, the main body of them unhis countrý.

der command of Gen. Nelson. Lafayette That able commander, Cornwallis, after was expecting reinforcements of militia and his disastrous victory of Guilford, in North of Wayne with the Pennsylvania brigade. Carolina, retreated towards the sea-coast In compliance with the orders of Governor and arrived at Wilmington (April 7th, 1781.) Jefferson, continental or regular officers were [April 25th,) he marched for Petersburg in substituted in the higher commands of the Virginia. To facilitate the passage of the intervening rivers, two boats mounted on + Tarleton, p. 285.

+ Idcm., p. 290. Lee, p. 286.

Lee, p. 288. Tarleton, p. 395.

militia. Three corps of light infantry of 250 cannot escape me.” * Cornwallis now deeach and consisting of select militia marks- tached Simcoe with 500 men, Queen's ranmen, were placed under command of Ma-gers and yagers, with a three pounder, the jors Call, Willis and Dick of the continental cavalry amounting to one hundred. The line. Lafayette's cavalry were only the rem-object of the expedition was to destroy the nant of Armand's corps, sixty in number, Arsenal, lately erected ot the Point of Fork and a troop of volunteer dragoons under Capt. and the military stores there. The Point of Carter Page, late of Baylor's regiment. * Fork is the angle contained between the two General Weedon not now in the service, branches of the James river, in the county owing to a diminution in the number of offi- of Fluvanna. Here during the recent precers, was requested to collect a corps of mi- datory incursions of Phillips and Arnold, a litia to protect a manufactory of arms at State Atsenal had been established and miliFalmouth, opposite Fredericksburg on the tary stores collected, with an especial view Rappahannock. Tarleton patroled from Pe- to the prosecution of the war in the Carolitersburg as far as Warwick. Surprising near nas. The protection of this post ha been there 400 militia, he made fifty prisoners and entrusted to the able Prussian officer, the brought them to Petersburg. In the mean- Baron Steuben. His force consisted of 600 time General Leslie arrived at the mouth of new levies, originally intended for the Souththe James river, with a reinforcement sentern army and an equal number of militia by Sir Henry Clinton from New York. Corn- under General Lawson. † Cornwallis howwallis upon receiving intelligence of it or- ever informed Simcoe, that the Baron's force dered Leslie to repair to Portsmouth with was only three or four hundred. I the 17th British regiment and two battalions of Anspach and the 43rd to join the main

· All I learnt by a conversation with Mr. Bird, [land. army. His lordship now proceeded with his

lord of Bird's Ordinary in New Keni.] was, that he had forces to Macocks, (opposite Westover,) on been pillayed by the English, when they passed his house the James, where being joined by the 43rd, he in their march [from] Westover, in pursuit of Monsieur de crossed over. † The passage occupied near

la Fayetle, and in returning to Williamsburgh, after en

deavoring in vain to come up with him. It was comparaly three days. The horses swam by aid of lively nothing to see their fruits, fowls and cattle carried boats, the river there being two miles wide. I away by the light troops which formed the can-guard; the · Brigadier General Arnold obtained leave to army collected what the van-guard had left; even the offi.

cers seized the rum and all kinds of provisions, without return to New York, where business of con-paying a farthing for them; this hurricane, which destroyer sequence demanded his attendance." The every thing in its passage, was followed by a scourge yet British officers had found it irksome to serve more lerrible : a numerous rabble, under the title of Refe under him. The force of Cornwallis now field, be to partake of the plunder. The furniture and

gees and Loyalists, followed the arıny, not to assist in the amounted to 8,000. Lafayette hearing of this clothes of the inhabitants were in general the sole booty movement of the enemy, crossed the Chick-left to satisfy their avidity; after they had emptied the ahominy and retreated towards Fredericks

houses, they stript the proprietors; and Mr. Bird repeated

with indignation, that they had taken from him by force, burg, with the view of covering the manu- the very boots from off his legs,”—2 Chastellux's Travels, factory of arms at Falmouth and of meeting pp. 3-7. “Mr. Tilghman, our landlord [at Hanover Court Wayne. Cornwallis pursued with celerity, House, though he lamented his misfortune in having lodg

ed and boarded Lord Cornwallis and his retinue, without but finding Lafayette beyond his reach gave his Lordship's having made him the least recompense, out the chases and encamped on the banks could not yet help laughing at the fright which the unexpectof the North Anna || in Hanover county. La- cd arrival of Tarleton spread amongst a considerable number

of gentlemen, who had come to hear the news, and were fayette who had been hotly pursued by Tarle.

assembled at the Court Horise. A negro on horseback ton, retreated precipitately beyond Freder- came full gallop to let them know that Tarleton was not icksburg. It was on this occasion that Corn- above three miles off. The resolution of retrealing was wallis in a letter said of Lafayette, “the boy

soon taken, but the alarm was so sudden, and the confusion so great, that every one mounted the first horse he could

find, so that few of those carious gentlemen returned upon • Lee, p. 287.

their own horses." Ib., p. 14. + Tarleton, p. 291. Lee, p. 288.

+ Burk's Hist. of Va., vol. 4, p. 496-497. Lee, p. 293. | Tarleton, p. 342.

I Simcoe held the Earl's military intelligence in slight ģ Lee, p. 290.

respect. Thus on page 226, he says, He had received no || Several rivers in Virginia were called after Queen advices from Lord Cornwallis, whose general intelligence Anne--the Rivanna, the Rapidan,t he Fluvanna, the North he knew to be very bad.” “ The slightest reliance was not Anna and the South Anna.

to be placed on any patroles from his lordship's army."

« PreviousContinue »