BY CECIL B. HARTLEY.
STEREOTYPED BT JESPER HARDING & SON, PHILADELPHIA.
GENERAL HENRY LEE was one of the most useful and conspicuous officers in the Revolutionary war. He was the intimate personal friend of Washington; and after the revolution he was equally conspicuous in political affairs, rising to the office of governor of the state of Virginia. Yet we are not aware that any extended biography of General Lee has been published since his decease. His well known work, “Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States,” in two octavo volumes published in 1812, furnishes details of a portion of his military life; and we have drawn freely from it in our account of his services in the South; but our other materials, for the present biography, had to be drawn from a variety of sources. We have endeavored to do the subject justice; and we trust that our humble efforts will serve to place before the country in their true light the services of one of the bravest, most generous, and chivalrous of all the heroes, who served in the war of the Revolution.
General Thomas Sumter was also a very distinguished officer in the same war. Unlike Lee, his revolutionary services were confined to the South, but on this field they were of inestimable value. He was the first of the partisan chieftains who openly took the field after the fall of Charleston; and for a considerable period he was considered by Lord Cornwallis the most troublesome of all his opponents. In heroic daring he was unsurpassed by any of the partisan officers; and he was the first to defeat the redoubtable Tarleton, who had rendered himself the terror of the South by his activity, boldness, and cruelty. After the close of the war, General Sumter represented South Carolina in the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States.
We have endeavored to give a clear and impartial account of the lives and services of these eminent patriots in the following pages; which we trust will be read with interest by their countrymen of the present time.
LIFE OF MAJOR GENERAL HENRY LEE.
Birth of Henry Lee—Private instruction at home—Goes to Princeton College—Is graduated—Takes charge of his father's private business during his absence on public affairs—His remarkable abilities—Takes an interest in military affairs—Appointed Captain in Bland's regiment of cavalry—Great want of cavalry in the army under Washington—Bland's regiment joins the main army—Engaged in the battle of Brandywine—Washington's retreat after the battle—Lee sent on detached service with Colonel Alexander Hamilton—Singular adventures of the two officers—Their life-long friendship.
Position of Lee favorable to advancement—His attention to discipline —His conduct noticed by Washingion—Events after the battle of Brandywine—Lee commands Washington's body guard at the battle of Germantown—Situation of the American army at Valley Forge—Of the British army in Philadelphia—Lee employed in harassing the British lines, and cutting off foraging and marauding parties—Attempt to surprise him—Admirable defence—Promoted to be Major, and to command an independent partisan corps—Correspondence with Washington.
Separation of Lee's corps from Bland's regiment—Lee's attack on, and dispersion of, a detachment of Donop's Hessian yagers—Confidence reposed in Major Lee by Washington—Attack on, and surprise of, Paulus Hook by a detachment under Lee's command—Washington's praise of Lee—Thanks of Congress, and a gold medal voted to Lee—Promotion of his officers, and pecuniary rewards to his men—Lee sent on a confidential mission to Count D'Estaing by Washington.
Lee's legion placed by Washington under marching order for the South—Sets out—Stopped, and ordered back to New Jersey by Washington—Arrives, and ordered to take post in rear of the army —Knyphausen's marauding inroad into Jersey—Lee's active and useful services in the battle of Springfield, described by General Greene—Lee again ordered on important and confidential service by Washington, to take the command at Monmouth, to await the arrival of the French fleet.
Arnold's treason—Lee's correspondence with Washington on the suspicions against St. Clair and other officers—Lee engages his sergeant major, Champe, to desert, go to the British camp, and seize Arnold and bring him off alive—Lee's own interesting narrative of the whole affair
Congress retains Lee's legion in remodeling the army—Lee advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel—Ordered to join the Southern army under General Greene—Washington's opinion of Lee—General Greene proceeds to Richmond and Hillsborough—Account of North Carolina—Greene joins the army at Charlotte—Gates resigns the command to Greene, and proceeds to Richmond—Noble conduct of the Virginia Legislature towards him—Condition of the army—Character and appearance of General Greene—His disposition of the forces—Colonel Washington's successful stratagem at Rugeley's farm—Army leave Charlotte—Greene takes a position on the Pedeo near Cheraw Hill.
Lee's legion joins the army under Greene—Surprises Georgetown—Battle of Cowpens—Cornwallis prepares to pursue Greene's army by destroying a part of his baggage and stores—Greene joins Morgan and brings forward his detachment to the main army—The pursuit commences—Defeat of Davidson—Greene passes the Yadkin—Lee with his legion, joins Greene's main army Placed between the retreating and advancing armies—Lee dissuades Morgan from leaving the army—But Morgan retires on account of ill health.
Colonel Williams appointed in Morgan's place—Severe duty of Lee's legion and the corps of Williams—An alarm—Lee interrupted at his breakfast, and sent off on duty—Gives his bugler's horse to a countryman—Attacks Tarleton'cavalry—Defeats them—No quarter—British Captain Miller saved by Lewis—Lewis reprimanded by Lee, who determines to sacrifice the captain—How he escapes death—Miller writes an account of this to the British army—Effect of his letter.
Lee again interrupted at his breakfast—Narrow escape of Lee and his legion—Near approach of the enemy—Night march—Great alarm of Lee for Greene's safety—He comes on Greene's deserted camp—Greene passes the Dan—Williams and Lee pass the Dan—End of the retreat—Its immense importance—The salvation of the Southern States—General remarks on the retreat.
Cornwallis's proclamation—Its effect—Greene determines to harass him and prevent his gaining recruits in North Carolina—Pickens and Lee ordered to recross the Dan on this service—Greene passes a night in their camp—They pursue Tarleton—His force—Come upon his deserted quarters—Lee and Pickens assume the character of loyalist reinforcements—Success of the stratagem—They hear of Pyle's detachment of royalists—They entrap Pyle's detachment, and are about to capture it, when an accident brings on an action and Pyle's men are sacrificed—Pickens and Lee pursue Tarleton's regiment—Are joined by Colonel Preston and his Virginia militia—Order of advance—Tarleton recalled by Cornwallis—His narrow escape from Lee and Pickens.
General Greene recrosses the Dan—Cornwallis leaves Hillsborough—Williams, Pickens, and Lee, detached to harass Cornwallis—They encounter and baffle Colonel Webster—Encounter with Colonel Webster near Wetzel's mill—His extraordinary escape from Lee's sharp-shooters.
Greene's army reinforced—Lee harasses Cornwallis—Attempts to cut off an escort with baggage—Adventures of a night—Lost in the woods—Cornwallis's commentary—Cornwallis's approach towards Guilford Courthouse—Lee's encounter with Tarleton's cavalry—General Greene prepares for battle with Cornwallis.
Battle of Guilford Courthouse—Cornwallis's army greatly weakened by this action—Greene retreats to the Iron Works—Loss of the Americans in the battle—Loss of the British—Courage of the British troops—Desperate condition of Cornwallis—He retreats to Cross Creek—Greene pursues him—Cornwallis arrives at Wilmington—Greene gives over the pursuit—Greene resolves to carry the war into South Carolina—Cornwallis decides to proceed to Virginia.
Lee ordered to join Marion on the Pedee—Movements of General Greene—Battle of Hobkirk's Hill—Lord Rawdon determines to evacuate Camden—Exultation of Greene—Lee and Marion capture Fort Watson—Colonel Watson joins Lord Rawdon—They menace Greene, but do not attack him—Lee and Marion besiege and capture Fort Motte—Noble conduct of Mrs. Motte—Lee proceeds to Fort Granby—General Sumter captures the post at Orangeburgh.
Position of Fort Granby—Lee lays siege to it—Summons the garrison —Negotiations—Capitulation of Fort Granby—The garrison retires —Public stores surrendered—Lee apprises General Greene of his success—Greene visits him, and commends the conduct of the legion —Lord Rawdon retreats to Monk's Corner, relinquishing his line of posts—Great success of the Americans—Two States recovered in one month.
Lee ordered to join Pickens in the siege of Augusta—Operations of Major Rudulph—Lee reaches Augusta—He hears of the Indian present of supplies, and determines to seize it—Sufferings of the troops on the march—Lee obtains the supplies—He sends Major Eggleston to summon Brown to surrender Augusta—Union of the whole besieging force—Lee defeats Grierson, and captures one of the forts—Renewal of intercourse—Mayham tower built—Brown makes a sally, and is repulsed with a severe loss—Brown's stratagem for burning the tower—Its failure—The deserter—The explosion—Brown surrenders Augusta—Lee saves Brown's life, which is threatened by the Georgians—Pickens remains at Augusta—Lee joins General Greene at Ninety-six.
Siege of Ninety-Six—Kosciusko chief engineer—His blunders—Lee placed in command on the left, besieges the stockade—Resisted by continual night sallies—Greene receives intelligence of Lord Rawdon's approach—Orders Marion and Pickens to delay Rawdon, and retains Lee with him at Ninety-Six—Lee attempts to burn the stockade fort, but fails—Rawdon's messenger reaches Cruger—Active operations—Near approach of Lord Rawdon—Greene resolves to storm the fort of Ninety-Six—The storming—Lee and Campbell lead the assault—Desperate conflict in the Star Fort—Lee's legion captures the stockade fort—He is ordered by Greene to hold the stockade—Losses—Retreat ordered—Sad reverse—Greene's equanimity.
Lord Rawdon arrives at Ninety-Six—Pursues Greene, who retreats—Rawdon returns to Ninety-Six—Greene offers battle which is declined by Rawdon—Greene detaches Sumter, Marion, and Lee to the lower posts—Lee's success at Dorchester—Hampton's success—Sumter approaches Monk's Corner—Retreat of Coates—Lee charges and captures the British rear guard—Affair at Quinby bridge—Retreat of Coates—Separation of the partisan leaders—Eminent character and services of Lee and his legion.
Vindictive character of the war in the South—Case of Colonel Hayne—Of Colonels Brown and Grierson—General Greene discourages this spirit—Greene reinforced—Lord Rawdon sails for England—Succeeded by Colonel Stuart—Greene resolves to attack him—Stuart retires to Eutaw—Greene follows him—Battle of Eutaw—British driven off the field—Take shelter in a brick-house—Attack of Lee's legion on the house—Retire—Misfortunes of Colonel Washington's corps—Result of the battle—A British standard, and a gold medal voted by Congress to Greene—Stuart retreats to Monk's Corner—Greene retires to the high hills of Santee.
Lee is sent to headquarters—Witnesses the surrender of Cornwallis—Returns to General Greene with despatches from Washington—Wayne's operations in Georgia—Contests with the Indians—Final reconquest of Georgia—Wayne rejoins Greene—Greene's operations in South Carolina—Final reconquest of South Carolina—Death of Colonel Laurens—Lee's attempt on St. John's Island—He obtains leave of absence, and returns to Virginia.
Colonel Lee's marriage—Neglect of his services by Congress—Favorable opinion entertained of him by Greene and Washington—His important services—Lee elected a member of the Continental Congress—His correspondence with Washington—Death of General Greene.
Correspondence of Colonel Lee and General Washington on the subject of the latter accepting the office of President of the United States.
Colonel Lee chosen a member of the Convention of Virginia for ratifying the Constitution of the United States—His earnest support of the Constitution in the Convention—Colonel Lee chosen a member of the House of Delegates of Virginia—Offered a command in the army to act against the Indians—Declines—Chosen Governor of Virginia—Proposed as commander of the army against the northwestern Indians—Correspondence with President Washington on this subject.
Washington's proclamation of neutrality—Lee's opinion on it—His letter to Washington—Death of Mrs. Lee—He wishes to take military service in France—His letter to Washington on the subject—Washington's answer.
Lee's opinion on Washington's system of neutrality—Genet's conduct —Correspondence of Washington and Lee on the subject—Origin of the whiskey insurrection in Pennsylvania—Washington determines to suppress it—Raises an army, and gives Lee the command in chief with the rank of Major General—Washington's instructions to Lee—Speedy suppression of the revolt.
War with France—Army to be raised provisionally—Washington names Lee as one of the Major Generals—Lee elected to Congress—Death of Washington announced—Lee writes the resolutions moved in Congress by General Marshall—Appointed by Congress to deliver the Funeral Eulogy on Washington—Serves in Congress during Adams' administration—Retires to private life.
Private life—Pecuniary embarrassment—Literary pursuits—Memoirs —The Baltimore mob—General Lee wounded, and General Lingan killed, in defending the liberty of the press—General Lee's health ruined—He goes to the West Indies—Returns—Visits Mrs. Shaw in Georgia—Dies on her plantation—Character of General Lee.
LIFE OF MAJOR GENERAL THOMAS SUMTER.
Birth of General Sumter—Services in the old French war—Distinguished by Lord Dunmore—At the defeat of General Braddock—Services in the Cherokee war—Goes to England with Occonostotah—Returns to the Indian country—Arrests a French Emissary—Takes an active part in opposing the oppression of Great Britain—Appointed Lieutenant Colonel—Stationed in the interior Battle of Fort Moultrie—Second Cherokee war—Fall of Charleston—Flight of patriots—Burning of Sumter's house—Sumter raises recruits—Origin of his soubriquet of the "Game Cock"—Recruits—Arms.
Condition of the Carolinas—Cornwallis and Rawdon's position—Gates advancing—Marion, Sumter, Pickens—Movements of Rawdon—Sumter assaults the British fort at Rocky Mount—Davie's success at Hanging Rock—Sumter's attempt on Rocky Mount foiled by the misconduct of his men—He retreats to his asylum.
Movements of Gates and Rawdon—Gates informed by Sumtor of a convoy of stores from Ninety-Six—Sends a reinforcement to him—Sumter captures the convoy—Errors of Gates—Cornwallis determines to fight him—His dispositions for battle—Night encounter—Gates prepares for battle—Battle of Camden—Flight of the militia—Brave resistance of the continentals under Baron de Kalb, and of the North Carolinians—Death of De Kalb.
Gates informed of Sumter's success—Movements of Major Davie—He informs Sumter of Gates's defeat—Sumter retreats rapidly—Pursued and surprised by Tarleton—Sumter escapes with part of his force—Comments on Tarleton's conduct—Gates retires to Salisbury—Afterwards to Hillsborough.
Sumter again in the field—Operations of the parties and leaders in the South—Position of the British army—Operations of Marion and Sumter-Tarleton foiled by Marion—Major Wemyss defeated by Sumter —Tarleton sent against Sumter—Battle of Blackstock Hill—Total defeat of Tarleton by Sumter—Sumter severely wounded, and compelled to quit active service—Operations of Marion—State of the Southern country.
General Sumter receives the thanks of Congress for his services—What Cornwallis said of him—Sumter again takes the field—Destroys the magazines of Fort Granby—Retreats—Captures an escort with wagons and stores—Advances to Fort Watson—Retires on the approach of Lord Rawdon—Defeats Major Fraser—Raises three regiments of regulars—Services of that force—Sumter in the State Convention—In Congress—His retirement from public life—His death.