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Heath, the American acting quartermaster-general, was writ-
ing from King's Bridge, a few miles away on Manhattan Island
to Mifflin, about to cross his command over the East River
to Brooklyn,-“We have not a single horse here. I have
written to the General (Washington) for two or three.” 1 To
a military critic, the attempt to hold the outer Long Island
line under such circumstances seems little short of ineptitude.
General Sullivan, who was in command of that line, and who, to-
gether with Stirling, his next in command, was captured when
his flank was turned, afterward claimed that he had all along
felt uneasy about the Bedford road - that by which Howe ef-
fected his turning movement - and“ had paid horsemen fifty
dollars for patrolling [it] by night, while I had command, as I
had no foot for the purpose.”2 The plain inference would
seem to be that none of the American commanders, from
Washington down, had at this stage of the war any under-
standing of the use and absolute necessity of mounted men in
field operations. A cavalry patrol fifty strong only, on the
flank of the American advanced line on Brooklyn's right front,
and patrolling the approaches, might, and probably would, by
giving timely notice, have saved the commands of Sullivan and
Stirling from the disaster of August 27; and yet, a few weeks
before, the four hundred Connecticut mounted men had been
sent home by Washington for the reason that cavalry could be
of no service in military operations conducted “here, where
horses cannot be brought into action”! But, American or Brit-
ish, it was all of a piece; and the whole story of what oc-
curred August 27-30, 1776, on Long Island, is on both sides

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1 "We suffer here extremely for horses; not a single one at this Post to send on Express. General Mitllin acquaints me that he cannot spare either horse or waggon from that Post. I beg that two or three may be ordered here." — Heath to Washington, August 27, 1776, Heath Papers. At this very time General Howe's light horse were pillaging and intimidating the inhabitants of Loug Island, offering an example of mobility and effectiveness.

2 Amory, Life of John Sullivan, 28. Stedman says: “This pass the enemy had neglected to secure by detachments, on account of its great distance. In order to watch it, however, they sent out occasional patroles of cavalry: But one of these being intercepted by a British advanced guard, the pass was gained without any alarm being communicated to the Americans." - History of the American War, 1. 195. The "great distance” in this case was a short two miles, and the route the British took to get into Sullivan's rear ran, according to the excellent map in Stedman's History, just about half a mile from Sullivan's extreme left flank. That such a route should not have been constantly patrolled seems, under the circumstances, simply inexplicable.

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suggestive only of a badly played game of chess; as the result of which the losing party escaped a checkmate only through the quite unaccountable procrastination of his opponent on land, and the inactivity of that opponent on the water."

All these happenings, as well as the subsequent transfer of the patriot army from Brooklyn across the East River to New York, occurred during the closing days of August. Four months later the affairs at Trenton and Princeton closed the campaign of 1776, and Washington's army went into its winter quarters at Morristown.

For present purposes, it is not necessary even to pass in rapid review the incidents of that melancholy campaign or its redeeming, and even brilliant, close in the Christmas week of 1776. It is sufficient to say that throughout those operations, from the ignominious Kip’s-Bay panic on September 15 to the splendid closing rally at Princeton on New-Year's day, 1777, there is nowhere any indication of the presence of mounted men, much less of any organized auxiliary cavalry service, connected with the patriot army; nor is it easy to see how the necessary courier and orderly work was done. Of patrol work, picket duty, and scouting service, there was no pretence on either side. Indeed, it was to this fact, and the neglect on the part of the British of the most ordinary military precautions against surprise, that Washington owed his success at both Trenton and Princeton. Yet the second year of active operatious was drawing to a close; and, certainly, operations during the last four months of that second year were not conducted "where horses" could not be brought into action."2

It is narrated of Frederick the Great that, after his first experience in active warfare in the fortunate, but for him personally inglorious and somewhat mortifying Mollwitz campaign, he subjected himself to sharp self-examination as to the errors and oversights for which he felt himself to have been

1 The first return of cavalry was on September 28, 1776, one month later, when one hundred and sixty light-horse were recorded.

2 November 29, 1776. Congress appointed a committee of five to “consider and report a proper method for establishing and training a cavalry in this continent.” The meagre result was Sheldon's appointment to command a single regiment of cavalry. Of course, it could not be raised, equipped and trained before the following Spring. - Journals of the Continental Congress (Ford), vi. 992, 1025. In January, 1777, the two troops of light horse from Virginia (Bland's and Bay. lor's) were taken into continental pay, and in February, Moylan's regiment consisted of six troops, each troop containing thirty-two privates. -- VII.

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responsible; and especially he “meditated much on the bad figure his cavalry” cut at Mollwitz; and, thereafter, he strove incessantly to improve that branch of the Prussian service, "till at length it can be said his success became world-famous, and he had such Seydlitzes and Ziethens as were not seen before or since" (Carlyle, Frederick, Bk. XII. chap. 13).

If Washington, in his Morristown winter quarters, subjected himself, as he doubtless did, to a similar rigid introspection, the first and most necessary requirement of the situation which suggested itself to him, must, it would seem, have been an adequate mounted force of some kind, attached to his command, at once his army's eyes and ears, its safeguard against surprise and his most ready weapon of offence. And, as respects safeguard against surprise, Major General Charles Lee, then second in command in the patriot army, furnished at this juncture and in his own person an illustration most opportune, though somewhat ludicrous as well as forcible. Of Lee it is unnecessary to speak. Both as man and soldier he stands condemned. But, in the course of these operations, Howe had sent out Colonel Harcourt with a detachment apparently of the Seventeenth Light Dragoons (Stedman, 1. 191, 226) to obtain information as to Lee's movements. This detail seems to have roamed about at will; and finally, through an intercepted letter put in charge of “a countryman" to carry to its destination, Colonel Harcourt not only learned of General Lee's wheteabouts, but also got full information as to how he was accompanied. Stedman (1. 226) says that the American commander had gone out “in order to reconnoitre," and "stopped at a house to breakfast." Fiske asserts (1. 226) that Lee had “ foolishly taken up his quarters" at the house in question,

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1 Lee did appreciate the value of cavalry. “For God's sake, my dear General, urge the Congress to furnish me with a thousand cavalry. With a thousand cavalry I could insure the safety of these Southern Provinces; and without cavalry, I can answer for nothing. I proposed a scheme in Virginia for raising a body almost without any expense. The scheme was relished by the gentlemen of Virginia, but I am told the project was censured by some members of the Congress, on the principle that a military servant should not take the liberty to propose anything. . . . From want of this species of troops, we had infallibly lost this Capital, but the dilatoriness and stupidity of the enemy saved us." - TO Washington, July 1, 1776, Correspondence of the Revolution (Sparks), 1. 246. He had already written to the Virginia Committee of Secrecy: “ Your resolution to raise a body of light-horse is, in my opinion, most judicious. It is a species of troops without which an army is a defective and lanie machine."

and had there slept. However this may be, on the morning of the 13th of December, a fortnight to a day before the affair at Trenton, a mere squad of British cavalry, thirty strong only, swooped down on White's Tavern, near Baskingridge, – halfway across the State of New Jersey, - and, in leisurely fashion, carried Lee off in slippers and dressing-gown, a prisoner of war. Another point of interest in connection with this somewhat opera bouffe performance was the presence in it, as a participant, of Banastre Tarleton, then a cornet of light-horse. Subsequently Tarleton gained notoriety as an active and enterprising cavalry officer in the Southern Department; and, as such, he also left a volume of Memoirs relating to the operations in which he bore part. The capture of Charles Lee does, however, reveal the fact that Howe's army in this campaign did boast a small force of regular cavalry, designated by Stedman “ light dragoons” (1. 191) or "light-horse" (226), and mention is from time to time made of it; but its only noticeable, or even recorded, performance was this bagging of Charles Lee. It is none the less apparent that, with a sufficient and effective auxiliary mounted force, such as Tarleton subsequently had under him in the Carolinas, the advantages gained in the operations about New York during the autumn months of 1776 by Howe and Cornwallis could easily have been followed up later, and Washington's straggling and demoralized army might have been effectually dispersed. On the other hand, while the British, from the lack of a mounted force adapted to irregular service and American conditions, did not, and could not, follow up their successes, the Americans, for the same reason, were wholly unable to harass their enemy and retard his advance. They could not even keep informed as to that enemy's position and movements, much less cut off his supplies, or exhaust and distract him by continually beating up his cantonments, – a system of tactics subsequently most successfully employed in the Carolina campaigns under even less advantageous conditions. That the British during the earlier stages of that seven years' struggle failed, so to speak, to “catch on " to this somewhat novel feature in warfare, as then conducted, is perhaps, considering the national characteristics, no matter for surprise. At best the British soldier is not peculiarly adaptive; and, fighting in a new country under wholly unaccustomed conditions, a Prince Rupert was not at once developed. The

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curious and hardly explicable fact, however, is that, later, they did “catch on" more quickly than Washington, who was to the manner born, and did develop, in advance of the Americans, a substitute for Prince Rupert, and a tolerably good one also, in the person of Tarleton. But, with material directly at land in the way of both horses and riders, it is fairly matter of wonder that no American Mosby developed anywhere or at any time within the field of operations presided over by Washington. Further south the partizan leader and the mounted rifleman did appear, as if by spontaneous generation, almost immediately after interior operations began; for Marion, Sumter, Pickens and the two Horrys were the Mosbys and Wheelers of the earlier struggle (Fisher, 11. 275). But north of Chesapeake Bay, where the initiative and personal influence of Washington, so to speak, set the gait, any trace of this ag. gressive individual enterprise is looked for in vain. Morgan stands forth the nearest approach to it. Washington, as is well known, did at one time consider the possibility of being conpelled to fall back to the well-nigh unexplored region beyond the Alleghanies; and, subsequently, he had recourse to what is known as a system of Fabian tactics. But the Parthian system of tactics was quite as well established historically as the Fabian, only it never seems to have occurred to him. Yet all the conditions lent themselves admirably to a recourse to that system.

As I have said, the men were there ; the horses were there; the forage was there: all in abundance. The organization and leaders only were lacking; nor were the leaders far to seek. Daniel Morgan, of Virginia, was there, Jersey-born but of Welsh stock, no less a born commander of irregular horse than, eighty years later, in the War of Secession was Forrest, of Tennessee, a man of exactly similar type, instinctively a strategist and cavalry leader. And again another instance: from the very commencement of hostilities, Benedict Arnold gave unmistakable evidence of the possession of every quality which went to make up the dashing cavalry commander.

Contrasting him with well-known characters familiar to a later generation, Washington seems, on the contrary, to have had more traits in common with George A. Thomas than with

1 «The ne'er yet beaten horse of Parthia

We have jaded out o' the field.” — Antony and Cleopatra, iii, 1.

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