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make the effort. And then a mischance came near to spoiling the whole project. Champe had hardly set out, at eleven o'clock at night, before he was seen and challenged by a patrol. He put his spurs to his horse and fled at full speed and the patrol hastened to report the incident.
Captain Carnes, to whom the story was told, hurried to Lee's quarters with the news that a cavalryman had deserted and asked for orders to pursue him. Lee affected to be half asleep and it took some time for the captain to make him understand. Then he would not believe the story, and the whole squadron had to be mustered to see if any one was missing. It was found that Champe was gone, and with him his arms, baggage and orderly book.
Lee had no excuse for delaying the pursuit. If he had done so it would have aroused suspicion of his object. He gave the necessary orders, therefore, but by the time the party started Champe had been an hour on the road. Yet it happened that there had been a shower at sunset, softening the road so that the tracks of the fugitive were easily followed, and the pursuers were able to gain on him during the night. In the end he was pressed so closely that he was obliged to leap from his horse and into the river, swimming towards some vessels that lay some distance off-shore. A boat from these picked him up and the pursuers returned disappointed, to report their failure to Major Lee.
We shall not here tell in detail the adventures of the seeming deserter in New York, since they have nothing to do with the biography of Henry Lee. It must suffice to say that he was well received, was enrolled into Arnold's corps of loyalists and deserters, and studied his habits. Arnold's garden extended nearly
to the river and he was in the habit of walking in it at night. A plot was formed to seize and gag him and carry him to the river, where a boat was to be held in readiness. The river once crossed, help from Lee's corps would be at hand. Unluckily, on the very day fixed for the project, Arnold changed his quarters and the nearly successful plot failed. Soon after he set out on his expedition to Virginia, with Champe as an unwilling member of his force. The plotter had been caught in his own net.
As soon as possible, the deserter again deserted and made his way into North Carolina, where he found his old corps, then in that State. Great was the surprise of his comrades when Sergeant-Major Champe appeared in their ranks and Lee received him with the utmost cordiality. But their surprise was turned to admiration when the whole story was told and they learned that the man whom they had cursed as a traitor was really a comrade to be proud of and esteem.
Champe was richly rewarded, but was discharged from the service, since it was known that if taken prisoner he would be hanged. Seventeen years later, when Washington was preparing for a threatened war with the French, he inquired for John Champe, whom he desired to make a captain of infantry. To his sorrow he learned that the gallant sergeant-major was dead.
Lee's mission in the South was to take part in the expedition of General Greene, sent there to operate against Lord Cornwallis. Promoted lieutenant-colonel, Lee reached Greene with his famous legion in January, 1781. His command now consisted of about one hundred well mounted horse and one hundred and twenty infantry. He was quickly engaged in his old inde
pendent work, covering Greene's rear in his famous retreat, and then seeking a lurking place in the mountain from which he harassed Tarleton and the loyalists.
At Guilford Court-House Lee's legion proved more than a match for Tarleton's dragoons. When Greene afterwards marched south upon Camden, he despatched Lee and Marion on a secret expedition of great importance. They began their work by the capture of Fort Watson, an exploit which forced Lord Rawdon to abandon and burn Camden. They next crossed the Santee and captured Fort Motte. The story of this interesting capture is given in our sketch of General Marion.
Fort Granby, about thirty miles west of Fort Motte, was next taken, after a three days' siege, and the day after Lee marched to join Pickens, who was near Augusta, Georgia. After a short siege that place was captured, with Fort Cornwallis and three hundred men. These successes of Lee were of the greatest aid to General Greene in his purpose of loosening the British hold on the South. Lee afterwards took a prominent part in the siege of Fort Ninety-Six and the battle of Eutaw Springs, and on the retreat of the British to Charleston followed so closely as to capture a large number of Rawdon's rear-guard.
He was present at the surrender of Cornwallis, and soon after resigned, becoming the master of Stratford House by marriage with his second cousin, Matilda Lee. In 1788 he was a member of the convention to ratify the Constitution, strongly supporting it, was elected Governor of Virginia in 1791 or 1792, and in 1794, as major-general, commanded the force sent to repress the Whiskey Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania. He married a second time in 1798, his wife
now being Ann Hill Carter. From this marriage was born the famous Robert Edward Lee, of the Civil War.
General Lee was again to win fame, this time by a phrase. Elected to Congress in 1799, he was selected, after Washington's death, to pronounce a eulogy on his great commander. In this he characterized Washington as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen," a phrase which will not die while the memory of Washington lives.
On June 27, 1812, while visiting William Harrison, editor of the Federal Republican, at Baltimore, the office of this paper was attacked by a mob, infuriated by something in its columns. Lee aided in the defence of the office and as a result was severely injured, being left for dead in the street. He never recovered from the effects of this injury. In 1817 he went to the West Indies for his health and on his return stopped at the homestead of his old commander, General Greene, now occupied by the general's daughter, Mrs. Shaw. He died during this visit, in March, 1818.
FRANCIS MARION, THE SWAMP FOX OF
In the history of our country there is no more attractive figure than that of Francis Marion, the renowned hero of romance and adventure. His exploits form a story full of delight to all lovers of daring acts and skilled stratagems, of marvellous escapes and genius in partisan warfare. He had no rival in celerity of movement or in the art of concealment. Never once was he overtaken or traced to his hiding place, and so skilful was he in concealment that some of his own friends, well acquainted with his usual places of retreat, are said to have sought for days without finding him. Then at some unexpected point he would suddenly appear, pounce like an eagle upon the enemy, deal them a stinging blow and be away again before a superior force could reach him. An adept in the work of the scout and the partisan, he has ever been a favorite with lovers of the daring and romantic.
The history of the Revolution contains many thrilling stories of Marion's exploits. A small man, short of stature and very light in weight, he always rode one of the swiftest and most powerful horses the South could produce. When in pursuit no one could escape him; when in retreat no one could overtake him. His good steed saved him more than once from capture, of which we have a striking instance in the following story.
Once, when pursued and nearly surrounded by a party of British dragoons, he leaped a roadside fence