PEARL LEONA STURGIS·FRIDAY, Febuary 19, 2016
The Patriots Daily Bites of American History Series # 14
(to be continued)
By Gregory Dixon US History Teacher text book 1956
Fort Washington Taken:
General Lee’s Disobedience:
Washington was now forced to abandon New York and retreat up the east side of the Hudson River. Captain Nathan Hale who had volunteered to discover the English plans was arrested and hanged as a spy. On the gallows he said, “I ONLY REGRET THAT I HAVE BUT ONE LIFE TO GIVE FOR MY COUNTRY!” Washington ordered West Point, the strongest place on the Hudson to be fortified so as to prevent the British from going up to Albany. Meanwhile a deserter had carried plans of Fort Washington to the British Commander.
He now knew just where to strike and took the fort with 3,000 prisoners. It was a terrible blow. Washington had crossed to the west bank of the river but could not hold his ground against Lord Cornwallis for he had left a large force of his best soldiers on the east side of the Hudson under the command of General Charles Lee. When Washington ordered Lee to bring over his men and join them Lee disobeyed. Fort Lee was taken. When Cornwallis threatened to attack the men then abandoned the fort. Washington with his small force began to retreat across New Jersey.
He broke down bridges after crossing them. washington hoped to save Philadelphia from falling to the British. If he could not he then planned to escape with his little army to the mountains of West Virginia. He knew once there they could fight for years for the cause of liberty. Cornwallis and his red coats followed the retreating Americans close on their heels. there were times when the british would be entering a town just when our men would be hurrying out of it.
Many patriots began to despair of success. They had an army of 3,000 men miserably armed, scantily clothed, half fed and not paid. Under any other general they could not have escaped but they had Washington for their leader and he was the heart, strength and soul of the Revolution. finding he could not hold New Jersey he was forced at last, December 8,1776, to cross the Delaware River at Trenton.
The British would have pushed on after him but the American General had thought of that and had seized every boat for a hundred miles up and down the river. All the British could do was to wait for the river to freeze over. Not long after Washington had reached Pennsylvania in safety the false hearted Captain Lee crossed the Hudson River and marched with 4,000 men to Morristown New Jersey. while he was asleep in a tavern several miles from his men a squad of British soldiers surprised and captured him.
Fortunately, his army was rid of him. they advanced and found an opportunity to join Washington.
Victory at Trenton, New Jersey.