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the fire of the British cannon. But the next morning, the British army was sent to drive them from the hill, and landing under cover of their cannon, they set fire to Charleston, which was consumed, and marched to attack our troops in the entrenchments. A severe engagement ensued, in which the British, according to their own accounts, had seven hundred and forty killed, and eleven hundred and fifty wounded. They were repulsed at first, aud thrown into disorder; but they finally carried the fortification, with the point of the bayonet. The Americaus suffered a small loss, compared with the British ; the whole lofs in killed, wounded, and prisoners being but about four hundred and fifty.
The loss moft lamented on this bloody day was that of Dr. Warren, who was at this time a major-general, and commanded the troops on this occasion. He died like a brave man, fighting valiantly at the head of his party, in a little redoubt at the right of our lines.
General Warren, who had rendered himself conspicuous by his univerfal merit, abilities, and eloquence, had been a delegate to the first general congress, and was at this time president of the provincial congress of Matiachusetts. But quitting the huinane and peaceable walk of his profeffion as a physician, and breaking through the endearing ties of family connections, he proved himself equally calculated for the field, as for public business or private study.
About this time, the Continental Congress appointed George Washington, Erq; a native of Virginia, to the chief command of the American army *. This gentleman had been a diftinguished and successful officer in the preceding war, and he seemed deitined by heaven to be the saviour of his country. He accepted the appointment with a diffidence which was a proof of his prudence and his greatness. He refused any pay for eight years laborious and arduous fervice;. and by his matchleis ikill, fortitude, and perseverance, conducted America through indescribeable difficulties, to independence and peace.
While true merit is esteemed, or virtue honoured, mankind will never cease to revere the memory of this Hero; and while gratitude remains in the human breatt, the praises of WASHINGTON shall dwell on every American tongue.
General Washington, with other officers appointed by congress, arrived at Cambridge, and took command of the American army in July. From this time, the affairs of America began to assume the appearance of a regular and general opposition to the forces of Great-Britain.
In Autumn, a body of troops, under the command of General Montgomery, besieged and took the garrison at St. John's, which commands the entrance into Canada. The prisoners amounted to about seven hundred. General Montgomery pursued his success, and took Montreal ; and designed to push his victories to Quebec.
A body of troops, commanded by General Arnold, was ordered to march to Canada, by the river Kennebeck, and through the wilderness. After suffering every hardship, and the most diftresling hunger, they arrived in Canada, and were joined by General Montgomery, before Quebec. This city, which was commanded by Governor Carleton, was immediately beleged. But there being little hope of taking the town by a liege, it was determined to form it.
The * See Note (A) at the close of this history,
The attack was made on the last day of December, but proved unsuccessful, and fatal to the brave General * ; who, with his aid, was killed in attempting to scale the walls.
Of the three divisions which attacked the town, one only entered, and that was obliged to surrender to superior force. After this defeat, Gen. Arnold, who now commanded the troops, continued some months before Quebec, although his troops suffered incredibly by cold and sickness, But the next spring, the Americans were obliged to retreat from Canada.
About this time, the large and flourishing town of Norfolk in Virginia was wantonly burnt by order of Lord Dunmore, the then royal governor of that province.
General Gage went to England in September, and was succeeded in the command by General Howe.
Falmouth, a considerable town in the province of Main, in Massachufetts, shared the fate of Norfolk; being laid in alhes by order of the British admiral.
The British king entered into treaties with some of the German Princes for about seventeen thousand men, who were to be sent to America the next year, to assist in subduing the colonies. The parliament also palled an act, forbidding all intercourse with America ; and while they re pealed the Boston-port and fishery bills, they declared all American property on the high seas forfeited to the captors. This act induced Congress to change the mode of carrying on the war; and measures were taken to annoy the enemy in Boston. For this purpose, batteries were opened on several hills, from whence shot and bombs were thrown into the town. But the batteries which were opened on Dorchester point had the best effect, and soon obliged General Howe to abandon the town. In March, 1776, the British troops embarked for Halifax, and General Washington entered the town in triumph.
In the ensuing summer, a small squadron of ships, commanded by Sir Peter Parker, and a body of troops, under the Generals Clinton and Cornwallis, attempted to take Charleston, the capital of South Carolina. The thips made a violent attack upon the fort on Sullivan's Island, but were repulsed with great loss, and the expedition was abandoned.
In July, Congress published their declaration of independence, which separated America from Great-Britain. This great event took place two hundred and eighty-four years after the first discovery of America by Columbusone hundred and sixty-fix, from the first eftectual settlement in Virginia--and one hundred and fifty-fix from the first fettlement of Plymouth in Massachusetts, which were the earliest English settlements in America.
Just after this declaration, General Howe, with a powerful force, arrived near New-York, and landed the troops upon Staten Island. General Washington was in New York, with about thirteen thousand mer, who were encamped either in the city or the neighbouring fortifications.
The operations of the British began by the action on Long Island, in the month of August. The Americans were defeated, and General Sulliyan and Lord Stirling, with a large body of men, were made prisoners. The night after the engagement, a retreat was ordered, and executed with
fuch * See Note (B).