A History of England in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. IV

A History of England in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. IV

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A History of England in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. IV

A History of England in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. IV

Read FREE!

Excerpt

When General Howe sailed from Boston for Halifax on March 17, 1776, he was accompanied by rather more than 7,000 soldiers, besides 2,000 sailors and marines and about 1,500 loyalist refugees, while the army of Washington amounted to 21,800 men, of whom 2,700 were sick. The evacuation, though immediately due to the capture of Dorchester Heights, was not altogether involuntary, for the English Ministers had some time before authorised and counselled him to leave Boston and repair to a Southern port, though they left the period to his discretion. In April, Washington left Boston, and on the 13th of the month he arrived at New York, which now became the great centre of the forces of the Revolution. Several months passed with but little stirring action on either side. The Americans were busily employed in calling out and organising their forces, in arresting and imprisoning the loyalists, who were very numerous about New York, and in constructing powerful lines of entrenchment on Long Island for the defence of the city. Recruits came in slowly. Desertions, jealousies, and quarrels continued with little abatement, and the disastrous news of the result of the expedition against Canada and the appearance of small-pox among the troops had thrown a great damp upon American patriotism.1 In the beginning of July, Col. Reed, the adjutant- . . .

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