|TRENTON, September 30 [1778.] |
Tuesday, sennight, about 3000 of the enemy from New-York landed near Hackinsack, where they are plundering the country of forage, &c. To facilitate this business, they have sent a number of vessels up Hackinsack and Passaick Rivers to carry off the plunder; but from the great body of the militia ordered out, and now collecting with all possible dispatch, to reinforce General Maxwell, there is good reason to believe these free-booters will, ere long, be driven to the place from whence they came.
It is asserted that the enemy at New-York, not yet satiated with blood and rapine, and finding our army had removed to Fredericksburg, in Connecticut, have detached another strong body within a few miles of the White Plains, in order to murder and ravage the wretched inhabitants who lately lay between our lines and those of the enemy; but to this detachment his Excellency our Commander in Chief will, no doubt, pay proper attention.
We have this moment learned, that the enemy at Hackinsack are commanded by Gen. Clinton, and that their numbers are daily increasing by troops sent from New-York. As a party of them are bending their course northeastward, and having sent a number of their ships up the North river, it is apprehended their plan is to cut off the communication between the Southern and Eastern States. In this we hope they will be disappointed.
The New Jersey Gazette (Trenton,) September 30, 1778.
TRENTON, October 7 [1778.]
On the morning of the 27th of September General Maxwell received intelligence that General Clinton had come from New York to Staten-Island the evening before. That a large body of the enemy were lying on their arms on the Island. That a number of armed vessels and flat-bottomed boats were collected; and that it was expected they would land at Elizabeth-Point, at 11 oclock. At half past ten they appeared in sight, standing for Cranes ferry, with 11 or 12 sail of brigs, sloops, and gallies, and their flat boats behind. The weather being hazy, and the General not able to see their rear, supposed them to be coming in force, and therefore ordered the alarm guns and signals to be fired. The militia turned out the General with his brigade marched down with his usual spirit to meet them, But they turned about and went up to Newark bay, and thence up Hackinsack river. The enemy have some days past desolated the county of Bergen as far as their power extended. They have thrown up some works on the other side of the New-Bridge beyond Hackinsack.
The same day General Winds, of our militia, marched from Acquackanonk to Hackinsack with upwards of 1000 men in high spirits, and more were following. General Heard, our other Brigadier, was the evening before with four regiments at the Short-Hills above Woodbridge.
General Winds has since been as far as Hackinsack, and had parties out to the New-Bridge. He has offered the enemy battle, but they declined it. They have sent near 100 small vessels up the bay to Hackinsack, such as sloops, shallops, row-gallies, and flat-bottomed boats, for the purpose, as it is supposed, of bringing off their plunder.
In the night of the 28th, they began a smart firing from their vessels, with small cannon or large swivels, at Deharts Point, near Elizabeth-Town, upon our sentries, but hurt not a man. Our people briskly returned it, and supposed by the bawling of the enemy, that some were wounded.
We hear Col. Baylors regiment of horse, having taken post the beginning of last week at or near Old Tapan, were surprised in the night by means of a tory giving the enemy information, and who conducted them along bye roads into the rear and between our out-centries. These horrible murderers consisted of two regiments of British light-infantry, a regiment and two troops of horse---who made a joint attack, the British officers ordering their men to give no quarter to the rebels. Our cavalry being in a situation which did not admit of a successful defence, a considerable part of the regiment unavoidably fell a sacrifice to those cruel and merciless men: Several of our soldiers were murdered after they had surrendered. Col. Baylor, Major Clough, and Dr. Evans, were dangerously wounded, taken prisoners, and left on parole; the Major, we hear, has since died of his wounds; 20 others were killed on the spot, the like number left for dead, and near 30 wounded and taken off by the enemy.
By a letter from a Gentleman at camp at Fredericksburg, we are informed that our army are greatly exasperated at the cruelty of the British soldiery in the above affair, and cry out for revenge.
A Gentleman from Morristown reports, that on Tuesday last a small detachment of our cavalry, on the other side the North-River, commanded by ---- Butler, surprized a party of the enemys horse, killed 15 of their men in the skirmish, took 14 prisoners and 20 horses, without any loss on our side.
The same Gentleman informs us, that Major-General Lord Stirling, with a formidable body of the American army, crossed the North-River a few days ago, in order to chastize the plundering herd from New-York, under the Command of Gen. Clinton. General Maxwell, with his brigade, has also marched to co-operate with his Lordships detachment.
The New Jersey Gazette (Trenton,) October 7, 1778.
TRENTON, October 14 [1778.]
Since our last several British deserters came to town from the enemy at Hackinsack.
Among the Officers who fell into the hands of the enemy in Col. Baylors late disaster, at Old Tapan, were Captain Swan, Doctor Evans, junior surgeon, Lieut. Randolph, and three Cornets. Captain Stith being suddenly surrounded by the enemys horse and foot, and seeing no probable way of getting off, called out for quarter; but they, contrary to the rules of war and to every sentiment of humanity, refused his request, called him a damnd rebel, and struck him over the head, with a swordwhich fired him with such indignation, that he bravely fought his way thro them, leaped over a fence, and escaped into a morass. Lieut. Barret got off on horseback; and Lieut. Morrow with a number of others badly wounded and left on the field as dead, were next morning brought off by a party of the regiment, the remaining part of which is now commanded by Captain Stith. Several of those his party brought off are since dead of their wounds.
The New Jersey Gazette (Trenton,) October 14, 1778.
TRENTON, October 21 [1778.]
Tuesday sennight the enemy left Hackinsack, after having plundered the country thereabouts of most of the forage, a number of cattle, robbed hen-roosts, and committed many acts of barbarity on the defenceless inhabitants. Several tory families, we hear, went off with them.
The New Jersey Gazette (Trenton,) October 21, 1778.
TRENTON, November 4 [1778.]
Last week Col. Baylors cavalry, who were made prisoners by the enemy at Old Tapan, and taken to New-York, were all exchanged, some of whom arrived here on Sunday last.
The New Jersey Gazette (Trenton,) November 4, 1778.
FISH-KILL, October 1 [1778.]
By a gentleman from New-Jersey, we are informed, that last Tuesday week, between 5 and 8000 troops, with 17 field pieces, under the command of General Cornwallis, arrived at the English neighbourhood from New-York. On Wednesday morning they surprised a picket of militia, stationed near that place. About 350 militia, under the command of Col. Gilbert Cooper, immediately collected, who drove the cattle off, and kept the ground within four miles of the enemy. On Sunday Col. Baylors regiment of Light Horse, arrived at Old Tappan, who were surprised at day light the next morning by a party of the enemy, when near an hundred were killed and taken.
The New-York Packet, and the American Advertiser (Fishkill,) October 1, 1778.
FISH-KILL, October 8 [1778.]
Extract of a letter from an officer in Jersey, dated Aquakanock, October 4, 1778.
In my last I informed you of the landing of a party of the enemy from New-York. This irruption into our State has been conducted with the utmost degree of prudence and circumspection;--with a force sufficient, had it been managed with dexterity and spirit, (in the interval of assembling our militia) they might have harrassed a considerable extent of country and perhaps secured a large number of cattle. Tis true in attempting this they must have exposed their retreat to the sagacity of a commander, who from his vicinity to Jersey, had it in his power to cut them off. Instead of penetrating into the state, they confined themselves to a small portion of country, between two navigable rivers, exposing only a small front, impenetrable by its situation, and by works thrown up for its further security. Here they lay foraging, chiefly among their friends the tories, in the neighbourhood of Hackinsack. We can explain this conduct of theirs, only by complimenting the spirit of our countrymen, who turned out most readily on this occasion, and by supposing them much fonder of forage than of fighting. Had they ventured farther it might have proved fatal. However, this supiness gives us time to collect our strength, and receive reinforcements from the main army on your side of the Hudson. We now are a body of some consideration; sufficient to give confidence and cover to the country, with the assistance which we received, and to be at the same time an effectual restraint on the enemys depredations beyond their lines. At present they are busied in transporting their plunder; and we are watching for a vulnerable point, where we may revenge the barbarities practiced on the unfortunate and amiable Baylor.
Our whale boats in the mouth of Hackinsack river are not unemployed. They have destroyed four vessels with a forage that were returning to New-York---and had we an opportunity to work, you may be assured we would not be idle. We have felt injuries, and learnt how to revenge them, and wish most sincerely for a parting blow with our enemy. We harmonize perfectly with the continentals, and are peculiarly happy under the command of Lord Stirling.
The New-York Packet, and the American Advertiser (Fishkill,) October 8, 1778.
POUGHKEEPSIE, Sept. 28 [1778.]
Last Wednesday morning, we are informed, came in to Gen. Scots quarters, (five or six miles above White Plains) a serjeant-major, deserted from the 71st British regiment, posted at Kings Bridge. He reported that 3000 of the enemy with 6 field pieces, and a considerable number of waggons, &c. were at Valentines, about two miles above Kings-Bridge, and on their way to the White Plains. Another deserter, who came in on the evening of the same day, confirmd the above account, of these troops being bound to the White Plains.
On Friday morning it was reported at North-Castle that they were then arrived at the White-Plains, 6 or 7 miles below Gen. Scots quarters.
These deserters say that the common report at New York, was, that the British troops were very soon to quit that city, that two brigades were going to the West Indies, transports being provided which were now taking in wood and water for that purpose; that they were to leave a strong garrison in Newport, and to proceed with the rest to Halifax.
The last of these deserters says, the enemy were preparing to march with the main body, consisting of about 15,000, towards New England, and it was reported they intended to march through the sea-coast towns, to New-Haven, &c.
Notwithstanding the appearance of the enemys design of quitting New-York in a short time, it seems they intend to perpetrate further acts of villainy and destruction before they gofor we are told, that with several large detachments, they are making excursions into different parts of New York and New Jersey. It has been confidently reported for two or three days past, that one of their strong parties had penetrated as far as Hackinsack, in their way to MorristownBut many doubt the truth of the account.
The New-York Journal, and the General Advertiser (Poughkeepsie,) September 28, 1778.