THE COMPLOT OF SIR HENRY CLINTON AND AENOLD.
DESULTOEY movements of the British and American troops in the North during the winter of 1780 were baffled by unwonted cold and deep snows. The Hudson and the East river were covered with solid ice, but Knyphausen provided for the safety of New York by forming battalions of the loyal inhabitants and refugees. In May the continental troops between the Chesapeake and Canada amounted only to seven thousand men; in the first week of June, those under the command of Washington, present and fit for duty, numbered but three thousand seven hundred and sixty, and these congress could neither pay nor supply with food.
On the twenty-eighth of May the official report of the surrender of Charleston was received. The refugees insisted that the men of New Jersey, weary of compulsory requisitions of supplies, longed to return to their old form of government; and English generals reported so great disaffection among the starved and half-clothed American officers and men that one half of them would desert to the English and the other half disperse. The moment seemed opportune for setting up the royal standard in New Jersey. Strengthening the post at King’s Bridge, and leaving only three regiments in New York, Knyphausen formed nineteen regiments into three divisions under Robertson, Tryon, and Stachenberg, with an advanced guard under General Matthews. Of artillery he took eight pieces.
The army of “Washington was encamped at Morristown. On the east of the Passaic, the Jersey brigade under General