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9tores. At Norwalk, two houses of public worship, eighty dwelling-houses, seventy-seven barns, twenty-two stores, seventeen shop3, four mills and five vessels. In addition to this wanton destruction of property, various were the acts of brutality, rapine, and cruelty, committed on aged persons, women, and prisoners. At New Haven, an aged citizen, who laboured under a natural inability of speech, had his tongue cut out by one of the royal army. At Fairfield, the deserted houses of the inhabitants were entered; desks, trunks, closets, and chests, were broken open and robbed of everything valuable. Women were insulted, abused, and threatened, while their apparel was taken from them. Even an infant was robbed of its clothes, while a bayonet was pointed at the breast of its mother.
"About this time General Putnam, who had been stationed with a respectable force at Reading, in Connecticut, then on a visit to his outpost, at Horse Neck, was attacked by Governor Tryon with 1500 men. Putnam had only a picket of 150 men, and two field-pieces, without horses or drag-ropes. He, however, placed his cannon on the high ground, near the meeting-house, and continued to pour in upon the advancing foe, until the enemy's horse appeared upon a charge. The general now hastily ordered his men to retreat to a neighbouring swamp, inaccessible to horse, while he himself put spurs to his steed, and plunged down the precipice at the church. This is so steep as to have artificial stairs, composed of nearly one hundred stone steps, for the accommodation of worshippers ascending to the sanctuary. On the arrival of the dragoons at the brow of the hill, they paused, thinking it too dangerous to follow the steps of the adventurous hero. Before any could go round the hill and descend, Putnam had escaped, uninjured by the many balls which were fired at him in his descent; but one touched him, and that only passed through his hat. He proceeded to Stamford, where, having strengthened his picket with some militia, he boldly faced about and pursued Governor Tryon on his return."
Storming of Stony Point.
"His brandish'd sword did blind men with its beams;
The suffering inhabitants in various parts of the country called loudly upon Washington for troops to defend them; but he still kept his army concentrated on both banks of the Hudson, at some distance from New York, to prevent the enemy from taking West Point, a place of great importance, situated sixty miles above New York.
While the enemy were engaged in a predatory warfare, an expedition was planned and executed, which, in boldness and intrepidity, was not exceeded by any enterprise in the history of our wars. This was the storming of Stony Point, forty miles north of New York, on the Hudson.
"The English had laboured with such industry in finishing the works at Stony Point, that they had already reduced that rock to the condition of a real fortress. They had furnished it with a numerous and selected garrison. The stores were abundant; the defensive preparations formidable. These considerations could not, however, discourage Washington from forming the design to surprise the fort. He charged General Wayne with the attack, whom he provided with a strong detachment of the most enterprising and veteran infantry in all his army.
"These troops set out on their expedition on the 15th of July, and, having accomplished their march over high mountains, through deep morasses, difficult defiles, and roads exceedingly bad and narrow, arrived about eight o'clock in the evening within a mile of Stony Point. General Wayne then halted to reconnoitre the works, and to observe the situation of the garrison. The English, however, did not perceive him. He formed his corps in two columns, and put himself at the head of the right. It was preceded by a vanguard of 150 picked men, commanded by that brave and adventurous Frenchman, Lieutenant-Colonel Fleury. This vanguard was itself guided by a forlorn hope of about 20, led by Lieutenant Gibbon. The column on the left, conducted by Major Stewart, had a similar vanguard, also preceded by a forlorn hope under Lieutenant Knox. These forlorn hopes, among other offices, were particularly intended to remove the abattis and other obstructions, which lay in the way of the succeeding troops. General Wayne directed both columns to march in order and silence, with unloaded muskets and fixed bayonets. At midnight they arrived under the walls of the fort. The two columns attacked upon the flanks, while Major Murfee engaged the attention of the garrison by a feint in their front. An unexpected obstacle presented itself; the deep morass which covered the works was at this time overflowed by the tide. The English opened a most tremendous fire of musketry, and of cannon loaded with grape-shot; but neither the inundated morass, nor a double palisade, nor the bastioned ramparts, nor the storm of fire that was poured from them, could arrest the impetuosity of the Americans; they opened their way with the bayonet, prostrated whatever opposed them, scaled the fort, and the two columns met in the centre of the works. General Wayne received a contusion in the head, by a musket-ball, as he passed the last abattis; Colonel Fleury struck with his own hand the royal standard that waved upon the walls. Of the forlorn hope of Gibbon, 17 out of the 20 perished in the attack. The English lost upwards of 600 men in killed and prisoners. The conquerors abstained from pillage and from all disorder; a conduct the more worthy to be commended, as they had still present in mind the ravages and butcheries which their enemies had so recently committed in Carolina, in Connecticut, and in Virginia. Humanity imparted new effulgence to the victory which valour had obtained."
"But Hudson still, with his interior tide, Laves a rude rock that bears Britannia's pride, Swells round the headland with indignant roar, And mocks her thunders from his murmuring shore;' When a firm cohort starts from Peekskill plain, To crush the invaders and the post regain. Here, gallant Hull, again thy sword is tried, Meigs, Floury, Butler, labouring side by side: Wayne takes the guidance, culls the vigorous band, Strikes out the flint, and bids the nervous hand Trust the mute bayonet and midnight skies, To stretch o'er craggy walls the dark surprise. With axes, handspikes on the shoulder hung, And the sly watchword, whisper'd from the tongue, Through different paths the silent march they take, Plunge, climb the ditch, the palisado break, Secure each sentinel, each picket shun, Grope the dim postern where the by-ways run. Soon the roused garrison, perceives its plight; Small time to rally and no means of flight, They spring, confused, to every post they know, Point their poised cannon where they hear the foe, Streak the dark welkin with the flames they pour, And rock the mountain with convulsive roar.
The swift assailants still no fire return, But, toward the batteries that above them burn, Climb hard from crag to crag; and, scaling higher, They pierce the long, dense canopy of fire That sheeted all the sky; then Tush amain, Storm every outwork, each dread summit gain, Hew timber'd gates, the sullen drawbridge fall, File through, and form within the sounding wall. The Britons strike their flag, the fort forego, Descend, sad prisoners, to the plain below. A thousand veterans, ere the morning rose, Received their handcuffs from five hundred foes; And Stony Point beheld, with dawning day, His own starr'd standard on his ramparts play."
Operations against the Indians.
And tediousness the limbs and ootward flourishes,
The period had now arrived to chastise the Indians for the fiendish outrages they had committed. General Sullivan, with between 4000 and 5000 men, marched up the Susquehanna and attacked the savages in well-constructed fortifications. They made a fierce resistance, but, being overpowered, they fled like a herd of buffaloes. Sullivan, according to his instructions, laid waste their country. He burned forty villages and destroyed 160,000 bushels of corn.
Campaign of 1779—Inactivity of both Parties—Pecuniary Difficulties of the American Government—Sir Henry Clinton despatches an Expedition against Charleston—Furious Assault on the Town—Lincoln refuses to surrender—Assault renewed—Capitulation—Operations of General Wadaworth in the North—Surprised and taken Prisoner—Wonderful Escape and subsequent Adventures of General Wadsworth and Major Burton.
"Observe yon tree in your neighbour's garden," said Zanoni to Viola. "Look how it grows up. * * * Some wind scattered the germ, from which it sprung, in the clefts of the rocks; choked up and walled round by crags and buildings, by nature and by man, its life has been one struggle for the light; light, which makes to that life the necessity and the principle. You see how it has writhed and twisted; how, meeting with barriers in one spot, it has laboured and worked, stem and branches, towards the clear skies at last. * • • Why are its leaves as green and as fair as the vine behind you, which, with all its arms, can embrace the open sunshine? * * Because of the very instinct that impelled the struggle; because the labour for the light won tothelight at length. So with a gallant heart, through every adverse accident of sorrow and of fate to turn to the sun, to strive for the heaven; that it is that gives knowledge to the strong and happiness