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Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7:December 31, 1776
Volume 12, Page 340   View pdf image (33K)
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340 Journal and Correspondence

Cornwallis, and Grant, and in his Rear the Enemy's Main
Body stood ready drawn up to support their own Parties and
intercept the Retreat of ours, this excellent Disposition, and
their superior Numbers ought to have taught our Generals,
there was no Time to be lost in securing their Retreat, which
might at first have been effected, had the Troops formed into
a heavy Column and Pushed their Retreat, but the longer this
was delayed it became the more dangerous as they were then
landing more Troops in Front from the Ships, our Brigade
kept their Ground for several Hours, and in general behaved
well having received some heavy Fires from the Artillery and
Musquetry of the Enemy whom they repulsed several Times,
but their Attacks were neither so lasting or vigorous as was
expected owing as it was imagined to their being certain of
makz the whole Brigade Prisoners of War, for by this Time
they had so secured the Passes on the Road to our Lines
(seeing our Parties were not supported from thence; which
indeed our Numbers would not admit of) that there was no
possibility of retreating that Way. between the place of
Action and our Lines there lay a large Marsh and Deep
Creek not above 80 yds aCross at the Mouth. The Place of
Action upon a direct Line did not much exceed a Mile from
a part of our Lines towards the Head of which Creek there
was a Mill and Bridge across which a certain Col. Ward from
New England, who is charged with having acted a Bashful
part that Day, pass'd over with his Regiment and then burnt
them Down, tho' under cover of our Cannon, which would
have check'd the Enemy's Pursuit at any Time, otherways this
Bridge might have afforded a secure Retreat, there then
remained no other Prospect but to surrender or attempt to
retreat over this Marsh and Creek at the Mouth, where no
Person had ever been known to Cross, in the Interim I applied
to Genl Washington for some Regiments to march out to sup-
port and cover their Retreat, which he urged would be attended
with too great Risk to the Party and the Lines; he immedi-
ately afterwards sent for and ordered me to march down a
New England Regiment, and Cap" Thomas's Compy which
had just come over from York, to the Mouth of the Creek
opposite where the Brigade was drawn up, and ordered two
Field Pieces down, to support and cover their Retreat, should
they make a push that Way.—soon after our march, they
began to retreat, and for a small Time the Fire was very
heavy on both sides, till our Troops came to the Marsh, where
they were obliged to break their order, and escape as quick
as they could to the Edge of the Creek, under a brisk Fire,
notwithstanding which they brought off 28 Prisoners—The
Enemy taking advantage of a Commanding Ground kept up


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Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7:December 31, 1776
Volume 12, Page 340   View pdf image (33K)
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