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second division. 2d, A reinforcement of ships from M. de Guichen, a requisition for which had been made by the chevalier de Ternay, in consequence of an authority granted to him for that purpose. 3d, Or, in fine, that the enemy by drawing his forces towards the south, might weaken New York so far that we should have nothing to fear for our squadron at Rhode Island, and leave us at liberty to attempt something with the army upon the Island of New York.

Immediately after his return to Washington's head-quarters, La Fayette wrote me a most pressing despatch, in which, after recalling our conversations, he concluded, in the name of the General, by proposing that I should join him immediately to undertake an attack on New York; his letter finished by a sort of summons founded on the political state of the country, and the apprehension that this campaign was the last effort of her patriotism. We were still further dissatisfied with this despatch, because General Washington, in his letter to me by the same messenger, did not say a word of this project; but he made no answer to my request for an interview, at which, by an hour's conversation, we could settle more than by volumes of writing. I took occasion to write a letter to La Fayette, in which, after reminding him that, by his own showing, there were fourteen thousand regular troops in New York independent of the militia, and that the French squadron was blockaded in Newport by a force more than double, I proved to him that if I should abandon the squadron under these circumstances, the English admiral would be the most pusillanimous of men if he did not burn it immediately upon our departure, and afterwards attack our communications on the different bays which separate the continent from Long Island and the island of New York, supposing that we had effected a descent on them.

I wrote to General Washington at the same time, in English; I expressed my satisfaction at the letters which I had received from him, and requested that all correspondence on business might be direct between us: I at the same time renewed my. request

for a conference. i ought however, to mention, in justification of La Fayette, that he conveyed in substance, the sentiments of General Wash ington, who availed himself of his youth and ardour to express them with greater energy. This commander, in fact, thought at that time, and not without some foundation, considering the total discredit of the finances of congress, that this campaign was the last effort of expiring patriotism. He was desirous at any rate of hazarding an attack on the stronghold of the enemy, while he could count upon the assistance of the French troops. He felt, however, the difficulty of it, and acquiesced in all the reasonings of

my

letter. From the moment that our corresVOL. II.

X

pondence became direct, I was uniformly pleased with the solidity of his judgment and the amenity of his style.

At length, in the beginning of September we had news of the squadron of M. de Guichen, who had appeared on the southern coast of America. After having gained several battles in the West Indies, he undertook a large convoy for France. The chevalier de Ternay, when he found himself blockaded by a superior force, had required of him a reinforcement of four sail of the line. The letter did not arrive at cape François un. til after the departure of M. de Guichen: it was delivered to M. de Monteil who could not decypher it, and who, besides, had engaged in an expedition against Pensacola in conjunction with the Spaniards.

We received, in the beginning of September, very unfavourable accounts from the southern states. Lord Cornwallis had advanced as far as Camden where he was met by General Gates: the latter was beaten, and the American army put completely to the rout. Cabb, a French officer, was killed at the head of an American division which sustained the whole weight of the day; General Gates retired with the remnant of his army as far as Hillsborough, in North Carolina.

In the mean time, on the news of the approach of M. de Guichen, I at length obtained the desired meeting from General Washington to determine upon the operations which our expected maritime superiority might warrant; it took place at Hartford on the 20th September; we there agreed upon all our movements, in the event of the arrival of the second division, or of an increase of naval force brought or sent by M. de Guichen. But these appearances soon vanished upon the arri. val of admiral Rodney's fleet at New York, which tripled the English force. We hastened the conclusion of our conference, the French generals wishing to be at their posts where they were wanted. We found, however, that the baron de Viomenil had made every proper arrangement to secure the anchorage of the squadron against this new peril. General Washington was also in haste to join his army, where his presence became very necessary. * * * * * *

I shall venture to interrupt here the regular narrative, in oto der to relate an anecdote fitted to exemplify the character of the good republicans of Connecticut. In going to this conference, the carriage which conveyed admiral the chevalier de Ternay and myself, broke down. I sent Fersen, my first aide-de-camp, in search of a wheelright who resided at the distance of a mile from the place where the accident happened. Fersen returned to inform me, that he had found a man sick of a quartan fever

, who had answered him that his hat full of guineas would not tempt him to work in the night. I requested

the admiral to go with me that we might entreat him together. We told him that General Washington was to arrive that evening at Hartford, for the purpose of conferring with us the next day, and that the object would be defeated, unless he mended our vehicle. “ You are no liars,” said he: “ I have read in the newspaper that Washington is to be there this evening to confer with you: I see this is a public matter; your carriage shall be ready by six o'clock in the morning." And so it was. On our return from the conference at Hartford, one of our wheels gave way nearly on the same spot, and at the same hour; and we were obliged to have recourse to our old friend. “ What,” said he, “ do you want me to work again in the night?” “ Alas, yes, was my reply, “ admiral Rodney is arrived and has tripled the enemy's naval force, and we must get back with all speed to Rhode Island, in order to be ready for his attacks.” . But,” rejoined the wheelright, “ what are you going to do with your six ships against twenty English ships?” It will be a fine day for us, if they attempt to destroy us at our anchorage.Come,” said he,

you are clever fellows; you shall have your carriage at five o'clock in the morning; but, before I begin to work, tell me, if there is no harm in the question, are you pleased with Washington, and is he so with you?” We assured him that this was the case. His patriotic feelings were gratified, and he was again as good as his word. Such was the public spirit which animated not only this worthy mechanic, but almost all the inhabitants of the interior, and particularly the freeholders of Connecticut.

It was at this period that the treason of Arnold happened: he had been negociating for nearly a month with André, aidede-camp to General Clinton, to deliver the fortress of WestPoint, an American depôt on the river Hudson, which contained all their munitions; he intended to take advantage of Washington's absence to execute his treason. That General, who esteemed his military talents, had given him this confidential command, and intended to visit him and the post the very day on which André was arrested by a patrol of militia, who were the more active as they wished to secure the return of their general to the army. They suspected André, whom they found disguised on the road from West-Point to New York. They arrested him, and found in his shoes the whole plan of the conspiracy. He offered a purse to these militia-men who refused it, and conducted him to head-quarters. General Washington arrived at the same time at West-Point-Arnold had been immediately informed of the detention of André; he threw himself into a boat, and rowed to an English frigate which he knew to be stationed below King's Ferry. General Washington found him

gone, and Mrs. Arnold not knowing what had become of her husband; but letters which he received from his army soot made him acquainted with the treachery. He gave orders for the safety of the place, and immediately repaired to his headquarters. Every body is acquainted with the trial and the tragic end of the young André, who deserved a better fate, and who was lamented even by his judges. The rigour of the laws, and the necessity of making an example, forced them to condemn him.

On my return from the conference I was principally occupied with the care of placing my troops in winter-quarters in a country of liberty, in which every individual considers his property as so sacred that the army of General Washington had always remained in tents during the summer, and during winter in barracks constructed by themselves in the midst of the forests. This plan was impracticable for us in Rhode Island, where the English during the three years that they occupied it, had burnt for fuel every tree on the island. * * * * * *

The state of Rhode Island acquiesced readily in a plan which I suggested, of our repairing at the expense of our military chest, the houses which

the British had injured, and converting them into barracks for the soldiery, while the inhabitants should undertake to lodge the officers. All was managed with perfect harmony and admirable discipline on our part. We had fre. quent deputations of Indians to our quarters, who expressed astonishment at nothing but to see still laden with fruit, the apple trees that overhung the tents which the soldiers had occupied for three months. One of the chiefs of these savages put a question to me, at a public audience, which surprised me not a little. Father, said he, is it not strange that the king of France, our father, sends his troops to help the Americans in an insurrection against the king of England, their father? I answered, that the king of France, his father, protected the natural liberty which God had given to man, and which the English king would take away from the Americans. It was thus that I got rid, indifferently well, of a remark which was of a perplexing nature.

Admiral Rodney departed again for the West Indies in the course of November, leaving a squadron of twelve sail of the line under admiral Arburthnot, who fixed his anchoring ground for the whole winter, in Gardner's bay, at the extremity of Long Island, that he might not lose sight of the French squadron; while he sent ships of fifty guns and a considerable number of frigates to cruize off the different ports of America. It must be acknowledged, that, during the whole time in which he kept his fleet together for the purpose of attacking the French, the commerce of the Americans at the ports of Philadelphia and Boston was very brisk; that their privateers made a great many prizes; and that the union of their feet opposite to Rhode Island was a great relief to the other ports on so extensive a coast.

Lord Cornwallis after his victory at Camden, pursued the American army into North Carolina; but the want of provisions and the protection necessary for his convoys, compelled him to send off strong detachments. One of these corps, under the command of Major Ferguson, was attacked by several bands of American militia who beat him completely, and killed or took twelve hundred men. This check obliged Lord Cornwallis to fall back on Camden. General Clinton had sent off towards the end of October, a detachment of three thousand men, under the command of Brigadier-general Lesley, who had landed at Portsmouth in the Chesapeake bay, with the view of acting there in concert with Lord Cornwallis; he was directed by the latter to re-embark and proceed to reinforce him in South Carolina. These men were replaced at New York by three thousand troups who arrived from Ireland. General Greene quitted the army of Washington at this epoch, by order of congress, in order to succeed General Gates in the command of the southern army. * * * * * *

In the beginning of November, our troops took possession of the quarters which had been prepared for them. We were compelled, by the dearth of provisions, to separate the cavalry from the legion of Lauzun, and send them, with the artillery horses, to occupy the barracks which the state of Connecticut had constructed at Banora for its militia. The duke de Lauzun-Biron, who took the command at these barracks, rendered himself, by the urbanity of his manners, highly agreeable to the Americans, and succeeded perfectly in whatever business he had to transact either with old governor Trumbull or the members of the le. gislature. A little anecdote will serve to illustrate the duke's aptitude for social intercourse of every kind. An honest Ame rican of the village asked him what trade his father was of in France. My father, answered Lauzun, does nothing, but I have an uncle who is a farrier,--alluding to one of the significations of the word Marechal in his own language.* “ Very well,” said the American, shaking him cordially and lustily by the hand,“ that is a very good trade.”

The next year commenced very unfavourably for the American cause. A third part of General Washington's army revolted; the Pennsylvania line, after putting their generals and officers under arrest, marched, with a serjeant at their head, to Philadelphia, to demand their pay from congress. An extraordinary trait of patriotism marked this sedition. General Clinton commanding at New York, sent emissaries to these troops,

* In French, the word Maréchal means either a marshal or la farrier. Biron, the uncle of Lauzan, was a marshal of France.

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