乔治•华盛顿鲜为人知的人生故事(十二)

by 钱绛

乔治•华盛顿鲜为人知的人生故事(十二)

锲而不舍从头越 咬紧牙关永向前

一般认为,1776年8月27日英军打胜长岛战役(Battle of Long Island),又称布魯克林會戰(Battle of Brooklyn),某种程度上,归咎于华盛顿对于敌人打算发动啥样的进攻、以及进攻的主要矛头在哪里,始终捉摸不定。因此,他不得不把大部分兵力保持在纽约,并在彼此相隔很远的地点部署把守地域广阔的布鲁克林。此外,敌军在第一梯队登陆长岛几天后,主力利用夜幕掩护偷偷潜入,华司令当时也弄不清敌军兵力的实际规模。

Washington XII-1
长岛战役(Battle of Long Island),或称布魯克林會戰(Battle of Brooklyn)

人们还认为,那天惨败的另一重要原因,是华盛顿将军用人不当。由于格林将军(Nathanael Greene)病重,让普特南老将(General Israel Putnam)在敌人已经登陆的紧急情况下才接替格林的位置,使他根本来不及熟悉自己的职务和周围的地形,因而造成指挥上的混乱;沙利文将军(General John Sullivan),虽然在信中声称接受后方普特南将军的指挥,但后来行动显得仍然有点自行其是;而工事外面的军队,据说全归斯特林勋爵(William Alexander, Lord Sterling)管。事实证明,美军没在树木茂密的几条通道上构筑坚强的工事,防守人员也太薄弱,尤其忽略了东边人迹罕至的牙买加山道(Jamaica Pass)等等错误,才让英军钻了空子,乘虚而入,绕到美军前沿部队背后,切断了他们与防线的联系,使大陆军受到克林顿爵士(General Clinton)的部队和德海斯特(General Leopold Philip Von Heister)率领的黑森兵的包抄夹攻。

当初,如果美军派出一些轻骑兵加紧监视、搜索和通风报信的话,就决不致于发现不了一万英兵的夜行军。这其实暴露了大陆军内部存在的自我矛盾:过去,康乃狄克的骑兵曾因装备朴素受到南方部队的嘲笑,而他们坚持骑兵的尊严和特权又被讥讽为假正经,最后遭到遣散。如果这支骑兵队伍保留下来,美军这一次就不致遭到突然袭击和分割,先头守卫部队不致溃不成军,南方部队自己也不致被杀戮俘虏到几乎歼灭殆尽的地步。战斗结束后,美军精疲力竭,不堪一击。许多人病倒挂彩,大多数人都没帐篷或其他栖息之所。对华盛顿司令官来说,更是夜不能寐,心力交瘁。所有迹象都预示着,一场短兵相接、殊死拼杀的血腥搏斗即将来临。

长岛撤退 (Retreat from Long Island)

1776年8月28日清早,应华盛顿向蔓哈顿总部的救急求援,托马斯·米夫林准将(Thomas Mifflin)带着驻守国王大桥(Kings Bridge)的部分军队赶到长岛营地。他带来的是两个精锐的宾夕法尼亚兵团,总共不过八百人,不仅纪律严明,而且有得力军官领导,惯于联合作战。曾有位随军的詹姆斯·撒赫年轻医生(Doctor James Thacher),观察了这批宾州步枪士兵在多次战役中的表现以后,日记描述如下:

“他们都特别结实强壮,好些人身高超过6英尺,穿着白罩衫或来复枪制服,头戴圆帽。 这些人射击的命中率相当精准出奇; 隔两百码远大都有把握击中目标。 有回训练中,他们的一队飞快前进的同时,边跑边射击,频频打中距离250码之外7英寸直径的物体. . . 百发百中常给暴露自己的英军官兵带来致命的后果,而这些神枪手们的射击视线距离往往是普通火枪的两倍以上。” (Source: James Thacher, “Military Journal during the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783″.)

和米夫林同来的还有约翰·葛雷佛上校的马萨诸塞团( John Glover‘s regiment),主要由马布尔黑德市(Marblehead, 意译“鹅卵石头”)的渔民和水手组成。他们体格健壮,做事干练,又能吃苦耐劳,穿着整洁的蓝色夹克衫和长裤,总共约有一千三百人。这支队伍被部署在防御工事的极左翼,靠近沃拉鲍特湾 Bay)。看到援军迈着矫健步伐、雄赳赳气昂昂地列队走过,败兵残将人人眼里露出欣喜之色。当天,前沿哨所的步枪手和英国的“非正规军”整天都有小规模摩擦;这些冲突有时相当激烈,但敌军的主力始终呆在帐篷里。到了下午,北美英军总司令威廉·豪(William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe),下令,开始在离美军工事大约五百码的地方挖掘壕沟,似乎准备用正规战法大打出手。

二十九日,浓雾笼罩了长岛。一切都陷人神秘莫测之中。上午,米夫林将军带着副官长里德 上校( Reed)和弗吉尼亚的格雷森上校( Grayson),骑马来到红角附近的西部前哨阵地进行侦察,结果对可能出现的危险局面甚感惊恐,赶紧策马返回司令部,准备向司令提出把美军立即撤走的主张。由于预见到这意见可能不为华盛顿所接受,同总司令关系十分亲密的里德,自告奋勇表示由他向华总建议。当天下午,华盛顿召开紧急军事会议。这时,大陆军上下疲惫不堪,情绪低落,天气也十分恶劣。坚守阵地本来就很困难,又发现已有敌舰绕过长岛,停泊在海峡一侧的弗拉申湾,很有可能派部队在哈莱姆河东岸登陆,从而控制曼哈顿岛的咽喉–国王大桥,切断美军同纽约的联系。考虑到这些情况,会议决定当晚就命令军队渡河,撤回纽约。

因为部队必须携带全部武器弹药,从胜利在望、人数众多的敌军面前夹着尾巴悄悄溜走,这次行动比以往任何一次撤退都更要求严格。而敌营近在咫尺,连他们战壕里铁锨和镐头的每一声响动都听得清清楚楚。此外,撤退大军还得乘船渡过一条有四分之三英里宽、水流十分喘急的海峡。行动中假如稍有闪失,必会引起敌人注意而一败涂地。也可能正是因为稳操胜券的笃定,才害英军瞎了眼。

华盛顿把准备工作做得非常精细周密。他首先向担任军需长官的威廉·海夫少将( William Heath)发出口信,要他在哈德逊河的斯皮登杜伊维到海峡的赫尔门一带征用一切大小船只,并要这些渡河工具在傍晚时分驶到纽约市东侧。这项命令在中午发出,立即付诸执行。虽然有些船需要行驶十五英里的路程,但到晚上八点钟,全部船只都集中到布鲁克林,交给约翰·葛雷佛上校的马布尔黑德两栖兵团调度。为了稳定军心,不致造成机密泄露,司令部向全军发出命令,要求他们收拾好全部物品和弹药,作好夜袭敌人的准备。突如其来的指示传达下去后,引起士兵们的惊异紧张,他们的武器已被雨水淋得几乎无法使用,一些人立下遗嘱,横下心来背水血战。

按照华盛顿的撤退计划,为迷惑敌人,米夫林将军要带着他手下的宾夕法尼亚军队以及哈斯利特、斯莫尔伍德和汉德三个团的英勇善战的残部留在防线上,假装照常布设岗哨,守卫警戒。等主力登船完毕以后,他们自己也悄悄撤退,立即开往渡口登船。万一出现打乱这种安排的意外情况,布鲁克林教堂就是集合地点,大家都应赶赴教堂以便协力抵抗任何进攻。

晚上九点来钟,部队在华盛顿警惕的眼光监视下尽快登上渡船。华盛顿亲自站在渡口,监督着每一个行动步骤。直至8月30日凌晨4时,一切平安无事;华司令恐怕夜长梦多,急于迅速完成撤退,便派随从副官斯卡梅尔少校( Alexander Scammell),回去催促所有还在途中的军队加快步伐。然而,斯卡梅尔在执行这项使命时犯了一个大错误,理解成让殿后的米夫林留守部队也赶快撤。米夫林将军虽有疑惑,但在斯卡梅尔的坚持下只得从命,召集哨兵和站岗的士兵回营,动身前往渡口。

此时潮水已经转向,东北风强劲地刮着,木桨船数量太少不够军队使用,而帆船又无法顶风逆流前进。渡口的情况有些混乱。正在这个当口,米夫林将军带着全部掩护部队来到,人声更加嘈杂。

华盛顿喊道:“天啊!米夫林将军!你这样毫无道理地撤下防线上的军队,恐怕把我们都毁啦。”

米夫林有点不快地回答说:“我是奉你的命令撤退的。”

华盛顿叫道:“不可能!”

米夫林直率地还口说:“我发誓奉命行事!斯卡梅尔不是今天值班的副官吗,是不是这样?”

“是的。”

米夫林说:“我就是从他那里接到命令的。”

华盛顿回答说:“这是一个可怕的错误哎!如果这批军队不能在敌人发现以前重新回到防线,后果不堪设想。”

澄清误解后,米夫林又把他的部队带回后防基地;至此,防线上空无一人已历时三刻钟。难以置信的是,由于大雾,敌人始终没发现这一致命的空巢。

Washington XII-2
Thomas Mifflin, 1st Governor of Pennsylvania

整个这段时间,天公始终出奇作美,浓雾聚集不散,掩护美军撤退;而河道的纽约一侧,却是万里晴空;逆风也渐渐停息下来,河面变得异常平静,木桨船几乎可以满载航行;同时又吹来了一阵顺风,把帆船逆向对岸。在老天的无比眷顾下,华盛顿的全部军队、大炮、弹药、粮草、牛只、马匹和车俩都顺利登船摆渡。到天明时,大部分都安全地潜回纽约;除了几门重炮之外,几乎没把什么东西遗弃给敌人。米夫林也在适当时刻率领掩护部队撤离防线,悄然无声地撤到了渡口。有人一再恳请华盛顿上船过河,但是他坚决不肯。直到所有的军队都登上了船,将军才乘最后一艘船渡过河去。

这次非凡的撤退,堪与半夜在邦克山建筑工事的奇迹比美,并取得独立战争中意义最重大的成就之一,使华盛顿名声大振。据说,华盛顿在军队安然摆脱危险处境以前的四十八小时里,几乎没有合过眼,而且大半时间是在马上度过的。可是,考虑到当时美军营地面临的种种不利风险,考虑到帮助美军—一渡过难关的、显然带有偶然性的环境,也有很多人把这次爱国军队经历的奇迹归功于天意使然。

Washington XII-3
The British fleet in New York Harbor just after the battle

临晨,英国人起身震惊地发现,华盛顿和军队在他们的眼皮下逃脱的一干二净。8月30日晚,英军占领了美军的防御工事。当长岛捷报传到伦敦时,街头巷尾喜庆鸣钟,千家万户窗前亮烛,英王乔治三世(King George III)马上嘉奖豪司令,授予他最高荣誉的骑士勋章(Order of the Bath1)。

Washington XII-4
Most Honourable Order of the Bath

长岛失败揭示了华盛顿和大陆军的许多幼稚、缺陷和弱点,包括分兵失策、手下误解、以及军纪涣散的部队刚听到枪响就慌张逃窜等等。然而,大胆的夜间撤退却被一些历史学家看作是华盛顿最了不起的军事成就之一,但也不乏有学者责备英国海军部队未能阻止撤离的疏忽。

至此,长岛会战乃是发生在北美最大的战斗。 如果包括皇家海军(Royal Navy)在内 ,总计参战人数超过4万。 豪报告英方损失为59死、268伤、31失踪; 黑森兵5死26伤。 相比之下,美国人损失惨重: 约300被杀、1,000多被捕。战俘先是被囚禁在船上,然后转移到诸如中荷兰教会(Middle Dutch Church)等监狱,在关押辗转过程里,不是饿死就是病死,许多病号染上天花后不治身亡,最后只剩不到半数的囚犯活了下来。

Washington XII-5
The is Middle Dutch Church where some of the enlisted men captured at the Battle of Long Island were imprisoned. The Sugar House also became a prison as the British captured more of Washington’s soldiers during the retreat from New York. The sight today is the location of the Chase Manhattan Bank.

哈林高地之战(Battle of Harlem Heights)

以后半个月,豪按兵不动,直到9月15日才派部队登陆基普斯湾 (Kip’s Bay),并迅速占领了纽约城,而大陆军则退守哈林高地(Harlem Heights)。虽然豪没有打算立刻进攻,乔治·华盛顿仍相信英军的攻势在即,派出步兵严加监视提防。9月16日,英美双方的步兵相遇交火,大陆军因寡不敌众而撤回哈林高地。当英军向前追击之际,华盛顿派兵正面迎击,同时派部队迂回到英军后方,试图把敌人围困在谷地之内。但迂回部队因过早开火,只攻击了英军右翼,迫使英军撤退。后来英军陆续增至5,000人,却被人数较少的大陆军再次击退,最后只能撤回南方。哈林高地战役后,大陆军的士气虽有所提升,但无助打破战略上的困境。

9月21日,一场不明原因的火灾毁坏了纽约市的四分之一。紧接着,内森·黑尔(Nathan Hale2)以间谍罪被英军处决。耶鲁高才生黑尔参加革命后,毛遂自荐为起义军当间谍,在纽约市执行的侦探任务中,不幸被英军俘获。他在绞刑前最后的话是:“我仅遗憾唯有一条命来献给我的国家。” (I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.)长期以来,黑尔被公认为美国革命战争的民族英雄;1985年,他被家乡康乃狄克正式指定为本州英雄(state hero of Connecticut)。

Washington XII-6
Nathan Hale, by Frederick MacMonnies, City Hall Park, New York

守卫纽约 (Defense of New York)

1776年9月中旬,自基普湾登陆战与哈林高地战役后,豪忙于协助效忠派(Loyalist )占领纽约市的军事设施;当纽约在21日发生大火后,英军又要帮忙安置居民,致使英军停止向曼哈顿岛进攻。乔治·华盛顿继续固守哈林高地,企图阻止英军在哈德逊河上航行。然而,民兵的士气因欠薪及衣食缺乏而持续恶化,以致纪律败坏,逃兵不绝。华盛顿在9月25日向大陆议会主席约翰·汉考克(John Hancock)指出,假如大陆议会仍在扩建正规军队一事上犹豫不决,革命将会失败。幸好另一位领导约翰·亚当斯(John Adams)理解大陆军的困境,而早已准备扩军议案。在他的推动下,大陆议会于9月16日决议,授权建立一支66,000人的陆军,所有士兵可在入伍时获得20美元,并在退役时获取100英亩土地。可是这些措施在落实之前,华盛顿只能游说民兵延长服役期限,以免军队在1777年前自动解散。

直到10月初,北美英军豪总司令才展开新一轮军事行动。豪打算绕道东河,进入长岛海湾,然后登陆布朗克斯(Bronx),包抄曼哈顿岛背面。10月9日,英军军舰闯入哈德逊河,轻易冲过大陆军设下的障碍,与华盛顿堡(Fort Washington ,New York)及李堡(Fort Lee, New Jersey)交火。尽管英军舰艇受损不轻,但大陆军已不能阻止英国军舰进入哈德逊河,而要重新考虑部署。不过华盛顿仍听从格林指挥官(Nathanael Greene)的建议,留守哈林高地,没打退堂鼓。

10月12日凌晨,豪把珀西伯爵(Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland)的军队留在曼哈顿,自己率军乘船离去,并在夜雾掩护之下,安全通过“地狱大门”(Hell Gate),进入长岛海湾。然后,亨利·克林顿(General Sir Henry Clinton)带领先锋4,000人,在窄颈(Throggs Neck)登陆。窄颈有道路直通曼哈顿岛的国王大桥(King’s Bridge),而该座桥梁是曼哈顿岛通往大陆的唯一陆上通道。英军登陆之后,才发现地图的测量有误。窄颈并非想像中的陆地半岛,而是一座被浅滩及沼泽包围的岛屿,只有一座堤道及一座窄桥通往大陆。驻守的25名大陆民兵见状,旋即将桥梁拆毁,并向四周求援,很快便聚集了1,800人守备。无奈之下,豪只好暂时在窄颈扎营,另觅登陆地点,同时等待威廉·冯·克尼普豪森(Wilhelm von Knyphausen)的7,000名黑森雇佣兵前来增援。

沛尔岬之战(Battle of Pell’s Point)

豪先在窄颈登陆,却因地势不佳而遭美国民兵阻止,被迫改变地点。10月18日早上,豪的军队转到东北面的沛尔岬(Pell’s Point),上岸没遭到抵抗。然而,驻守当地的约翰·葛雷佛上校(John Glover),已经用望远镜看到英军船舰。葛雷佛先派人向查理斯·李少将(Charles Lee )请示,但李却没有下达指令。最后,葛雷佛决定自行迎击。他将手上的750名民兵分成数队,一队150人留作后备兵,自己带50人到前方引诱英军,其他士兵则分散埋伏在道路两旁的多道矮石墙后面。

葛雷佛的引诱部队出击后,很快便与英军的先遣部队驳火。随着英军增援陆续抵达,葛雷佛便带兵向后撤退。当英军追兵抵达第一道石墙前方30码时,葛雷佛下令200名埋伏的民兵齐射,使英军死伤惨重,被迫向后撤退。英军败阵后重整军势,集合4,000人之力,在半小时后再次发动进攻。这次英军先用炮火轰击石墙后的民兵阵地,但效果不佳。当英军及黑森步兵前进至石墙50码外时,民兵再次开火,并一度与英军僵持。

接着葛雷佛撤到后一堵石墙,等待英军进击,然后故技重施。虽然民兵势弱,但仍数次击破英军的进击阵列。英军一共进行17次齐射,才以数量迫使民兵退到第三道石墙。至此,英军决定放弃正面进攻,而派出部队由侧面包抄,并将前来侦察的民兵击溃。葛雷佛见状,只好下令全军撤到后方河岸,留下150名后备兵开炮阻止英军。这支部队接着与英军炮战,结果不分胜负。稍后豪下令英军扎营,未过河追击;而葛雷佛在翌日亦撤退到扬克斯(Yonkers, New York),战斗就此告终。

Washington XII-7
Statue of Glover on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.

沛尔岬之战(Battle of Pell’s Point)的死伤人数并不明确。大陆军民兵点算自己:共有8人死亡,13人受伤;英军则报告共有3人死亡,13人受伤;但没把黑森士兵计算在内,而黑森佣兵正是沛尔岬之战的英军先锋,遭到驻守的民兵依据石墙顽抗,造成严重伤亡。豪本来打算在布朗克斯包抄曼哈顿,却在窄颈及沛尔岬接连受阻,又没有及时追击,丧失了攻击良机。豪延误进军,使乔治·华盛顿能够及时调走曼哈顿的主力部队,北上白原市(White Plains, New York)的山地布防。事实上,华盛顿虽然早在10月12日已得悉豪进入长岛海湾,但大陆军到16日才议决调兵北上应付,并在18日至23日期间陆续抵达白原市。豪得悉华盛顿动向后,暂时延迟包围曼哈顿计划,在24日挥兵北上白原,最后在28日引发白原战役(Battle of White Plains)。

白原战役(Battle of White Plains)

1776年9月基普湾登陆战后,英军占据纽约市,并与驻守哈林高地的大陆军僵持。到10月12日,北美英军总司令威廉·豪发动新一轮攻势,在布朗克斯窄颈(Throggs Neck)登陆,打算从后包抄曼哈顿岛。不过豪的盘算却因地图有误及民兵狙击,而没成功。18日豪改为于沛尔岬登陆,再次遭到民兵拦截狙击,是为沛尔岬之战。这些意外使豪无法及时包围曼哈顿。

10月中旬,乔治·华盛顿得悉敌军登陆窄颈,势将包抄曼哈顿岛,于是召开军事会议商讨对策。此前,大陆军的指挥阶层出现变动:于长岛会战被俘的斯特灵勋爵(Lord Stirling)和约翰·沙利文(John Sullivan)均获得与英军战俘交换,重返指挥之列;而查理斯·李少将(Charles Lee )也由南方返回,复任大陆军的副司令。由于华盛顿屡战屡败,李的声望大有盖过华盛顿之势;李也私下向霍雷肖·盖茨少将(Horatio Lloyd Gates)写信,批抨华盛顿治兵无方,应该及早辞职,由自己取而代之。这时的华盛顿对此并不知情,他带着军队登上宪法山(Mount Constitution),俯视伯迪特码头(Burdett’s Landing), 踌躇满志守卫纽约城。为了表示对查理斯·李将军的尊重,也许更为了调动李的积极性,争取其得力的支持与配合,华盛顿在14日将宪法堡更名为李堡(Fort Lee, New Jersey)。

Washington XII-8
Charles Lee3

10月16日,在大陆军召开的军事会议上,将领们都意识到曼哈顿岛沦陷在即,且纽约的华盛顿堡(Fort Washington ,New York)及新泽西的李堡已不足以阻止英国军舰进入哈德逊河,必须向北突破。除乔治·克林顿准将(George Clinton)反对以外,与会者几乎一致赞同留守华盛顿堡,以干扰哈德逊河两岸之间的通讯。结果,华盛顿亲自带主力部队北上,到白原市的高地布防,而华盛顿堡则交给格林(Nathanael Greene)的1,000人防守。格林的部队后来陆续增加至3,000人。

10月16日至23日,大陆军携带辎重,赶往白原市,23日抵达后立刻在山地布防。白原市的山地呈东西走向,面向南方。至于布朗斯河(Bronx River)则发源于山地北面,并向南流动,将山地分为东西两翼,其中西翼的查特顿山(Chatterton Hill)为山地的高点,且顶峰又有平地,可以居高临下攻击白原市,在战术上甚为重要。华盛顿先在山地东翼建造了两道延绵3英里(4.8公里)的战壕,然后派民兵守备西翼的查特顿山。

虽然英军在18日便已登陆沛尔岬,并得悉华盛顿正前往白原市,不过豪却下令军队缓慢前进,以免遭到民兵于道路两旁的石墙伏击。10月24日,豪的军队终于抵达白原市南面的新罗谢尔(New Rochelle, New York)。然而,10月25日英军却又离开新罗谢尔,去到史卡斯岱(Scarsdale)驻扎。史卡斯岱位于布朗斯河东岸,既有山道通往北面的白原市战壕,亦有一条道路通往西北面的查特顿山。豪几经考虑后,把军队分成三部分:亨利·克林顿(General Sir Henry Clinton)负责指挥英军右翼,豪负责中央,而黑森将军海斯特(Leopold Philip von Heister)则负责左翼。整支英军将集中攻打查特顿山,而非正面攻击白原市。

10月28日上午,英军开始向查特顿山推进。当时华盛顿正在白原视察地势,赶忙派兵到查特顿山增援。他先派约瑟·史宾塞(Joseph Spencer)的1,500名康涅狄格民兵,到布朗克斯河岸迎击;而亚历山大·麦道格尔(Alexander McDougall)则带领1,600名民兵从后支援。史宾塞的民兵横过布朗克斯河,以一道石墙为据点,与约翰·拉尔(Johann Gottlieb Rall)指挥的黑森先锋部队交火。当克林顿的英军加入之后,史宾塞便寡不敌众,在山上守军掩护下撤回对岸。拉尔的黑森步兵乘势上前攻山,却反遭民兵击退,只好退到南方的一座山丘重整,而其他英军的攻势也因此暂停。

首轮攻势失败后,黑森部队调动炮兵上前,向山上炮击,一度使史宾塞的民兵溃散而逃。幸好麦道格尔的援军及时抵达,集结溃散部队,又在山地重组防线。豪与其他将军商讨后,决定派军队从两面夹攻,由拉尔及亚历山大·列斯利(Alexander Leslie)的士兵攻打大陆军右翼,卡尔·冯·多诺普上校(Carl Emilius von Donop)发动正面进攻。然而,多诺普的士兵却因故不愿渡河,使列斯利的英军变相成为先锋。在拉尔的夹击之下,大陆军的右翼逐渐崩溃,而中央的大陆民兵也被迫向后撤退。大陆军撤退期间,双方的战事非常紧张,各自有大量人员伤亡,不过大陆军并没有陷入溃散,而英军占领山地后也没有继续追击。稍后战斗结束。

华盛顿堡攻城战(Battle of Fort Washington)

10月29日豪在等待更多援军,预备发动总攻。但31日却下起滂沱大雨,华盛顿则再次乘夜撤退。11月1日早上,华盛顿的军队已经在北堡(North Castle, New York)的高地建立防线。豪起初打算引诱大陆军出击,但大陆军却又预计英军会主动攻击,而死守不出。局势僵持数日后,豪却在11月3日挥军南下,前往包围曼哈顿岛,让华盛顿等人大为意外。权衡之后,华盛顿派近10,000人留守纽约州,自己在11月10日带走2,000人,横越哈德逊河,于11月14日退到新泽西的李堡。正是在1776年11月华盛顿撤退(Washington’s retreat in November 1776)期间,托马斯·潘恩(Thomas Paine)编写了继《常识》之后的另一本畅销小册子《美国危机》(The American Crisis),开头话触目惊心:“眼下是考验人们灵魂的时候。”(These are the times that try men’s souls.)

Washington XII-9
The George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee in Bergen County across the Hudson River to New York City, is the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge.

同月16日,英军发动华盛顿堡攻城战(Battle of Fort Washington),俘虏大陆军3,000,使美军再次严重受挫。与此同时,盖伊·卡尔顿爵士(Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester)已于10月11日的瓦库尔岛战役(Battle of Valcour Island)中获胜,并且占领皇冠岬堡(Fort Crown Point),大有从尚普兰湖(Lake Champlain)南下哈德逊河之势。然而,由于寒冬来临,卡尔顿在10月底下令撤回英属魁北克省,使豪无法从南北两面夹攻华盛顿。

1776年秋,美国军队分别在哈莱姆高地(Harlem Heights)和沛尔岬(Pell’s Point)意外地成功抑制住英军,但在后来的白原(White Plains)和华盛顿堡(Fort Washington)等地,接二连三受到重击。在这种情况下,华盛顿及其军队不得不从白原撤退,从那里渡过哈德逊河(Hudson River),进入对岸的新泽西地界;接着又不得不渡过德拉瓦河,从新泽西撤往宾夕法尼亚。就这样,在英军的追击下,华盛顿一路撤退,军队已减少到2,400人。

对乔治·华盛顿来说,1776年夏秋丢失长岛和纽约,乃是其军事生涯中最大的败笔。在《革命夏天》(Revolutionary Summer)一书中,历史学家兼作家乔·埃利斯(Joe Ellis)针对乔治·华盛顿在举足轻重的纽约战事(New York Campaign)中的种种挑战、错误和经验教训进行了探讨。据其分析,当年这场狂飙,破坏力几乎摧毁整个大陆军,并差点断送乔治·华盛顿的革命生涯。从那以后,报仇雪恨、翻身解放就成为华盛顿励志的夙愿。特别是在1778年春天,他的军队离开福吉谷(Valley Forge)后,从“红衫军”手中夺回纽约城的激情,更让卧薪尝胆的华盛顿变得几近痴迷抓狂。即使后来把敌人从蒙茅斯法院(Monmouth Courthouse)赶跑,大部分英军航行去了卡罗莱纳(Carolinas)开拓新战线,华盛顿仍死心塌地,与大陆军主力坚守在离纽约仅隔河相望的哈德逊河对岸。 在这里,他耐心关注光复纽约的那一刻。 在伺机等侯的同时,华盛顿精心策划将其大陆军队与法国海陆两军联盟合并,以达到赢回失落之城并结束战争的最终目的。华盛顿在一系列给大陆议会的信中,详细阐述了实现其所谓“大战略” (grand strategy)之宏伟蓝图。

Washington XII-10
Winning back New York City from the Redcoats became nearly an obsession for George Washington.

纽约的失守对整个大陆军以及北美民众来说,也是极大的打击,大陆军的士气一落千丈,补给供应短缺,逃兵不断。幸亏这时北美英军豪总司令放慢了追击大陆军的步伐,因为季节太迟的缘故,豪将军没继续穷打猛追,直捣革命根据地费城,而下令部队在12月进入冬季作战部署,着眼于建立基地,从纽约到新泽西的伯灵顿,修建了多处军营、基地及哨卡,士兵们准备在温暖的房屋里过冬。正是这样的形势才让华盛顿有机可乘;为了尝试拯救士兵并在乐观的情况下度过年尾,华盛顿决定反守为攻,计划在圣诞夜横渡德拉瓦冰河,攻打对岸驻扎的黑森驻军。

–未完待续—



注释:

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing (as a symbol of purification) as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as “Knights of the Bath”.George I “erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order”. He did not (as is commonly believed) revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.

Washington XII-11
Westminster Abbey with a procession of Knights of the Bath, by Canaletto, 1749

The Order consists of the Sovereign (currently Queen Elizabeth II), the Great Master (currently The Prince of Wales), and three Classes of members:

Knight Grand Cross (GCB) or Dame Grand Cross (GCB)
Knight Commander (KCB) or Dame Commander (DCB)
Companion (CB)
Members belong to either the Civil or the Military Division. Prior to 1815, the order had only a single class, Knight Companion (KB), which no longer exists. Recipients of the Order are now usually senior military officers or senior civil servants. Commonwealth citizens not subjects of the Queen and foreigners may be made Honorary Members.

The Order of the Bath is the fourth-most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry, after The Most Noble Order of the Garter, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, and The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (dormant).

Washington XII-12
A painting by Edmund Leighton depicting a fictional scene of a knight receiving the accolade

2. Nathan Hale was born in Coventry, Connecticut, in 1755 to Richard Hale and Elizabeth Strong. In 1768, when he was fourteen years old, he was sent with his brother Enoch, who was sixteen, to Yale College. Nathan was a classmate of fellow patriot spy Benjamin Tallmadge The Hale brothers belonged to the Linonian Society of Yale, which debated topics in astronomy, mathematics, literature, and the ethics of slavery. Nathan graduated with first-class honors in 1773 at age 18 and became a teacher, first in East Haddam and later in New London.

Washington XII-14
Coat of Arms of Nathan Hale

After the Revolutionary War began in 1775, he joined a Connecticut militia and was elected first lieutenant within five months. His militia unit participated in the Siege of Boston, but Hale remained behind. It has been suggested that he was unsure as to whether he wanted to fight, or whether he was hindered because his teaching contract in New London did not expire until several months later, in July 1775. On July 4, 1775, Hale received a letter from his classmate and friend Benjamin Tallmadge, who had gone to Boston to see the siege for himself. He wrote to Hale, “Was I in your condition, I think the more extensive service would be my choice. Our holy Religion, the honour of our God, a glorious country, & a happy constitution is what we have to defend. Tallmadge’s letter was so inspiring that, several days later, Hale accepted a commission as first lieutenant in the 7th Connecticut Regiment under Colonel Charles Webb of Stamford.

Washington XII-15
Nathan Hale as depicted in bronze (1890) by Frederick William MacMonnies at the Brooklyn Museum

In the following spring, the army moved to Manhattan Island to prevent the British from taking over New York City. In September, General Washington was desperate to determine the location of the imminent British invasion of Manhattan Island. To that end, Washington needed a spy behind enemy lines, and Hale was the only volunteer.

Washington XII-16
Commission of Nathan Hale captain in nineteenth regiment of foot commanded by Colonel Charles Webb. Signed by John Hancock. 1 January 1776

The Battle of Long Island led to British victory and the capture of New York City via a flanking move from Staten Island across Long Island. Hale volunteered on September 8, 1776, to go behind enemy lines and report on British troop movements. He was ferried across on September 12. It was an act of spying that was immediately punishable by death and posed a great risk to Hale.

During his mission, New York City (then the area at the southern tip of Manhattan around Wall Street) fell to British forces on September 15 and Washington was forced to retreat to the island’s north in Harlem Heights (what is now Morningside Heights). On September 21, a quarter of the lower portion of Manhattan burned in the Great New York Fire of 1776. The fire was later widely thought to have been started by American saboteurs to keep the city from falling into British hands, though Washington and the Congress had already denied this idea. It has also been speculated that the fire was the work of British soldiers acting without orders. In the fire’s aftermath, more than 200 American partisans were rounded up by the British.

An account of Nathan Hale’s capture was written by Consider Tiffany, a Connecticut shopkeeper and Loyalist, and obtained by the Library of Congress. In Tiffany’s account, Major Robert Rogers of the Queen’s Rangers saw Hale in a tavern and recognized him despite his disguise. After luring Hale into betraying himself by pretending to be a patriot himself, Rogers and his Rangers apprehended Hale near Flushing Bay in Queens, New York. Another story was that his Loyalist cousin, Samuel Hale, was the one who revealed his true identity.

Washington XII-17
Beekman House

British General William Howe had established his headquarters in the Beekman House in a rural part of Manhattan, on a rise between 50th and 51st Streets between First and Second Avenues,[10] near where Beekman Place commemorates the connection. Hale reportedly was questioned by Howe, and physical evidence was found on him. Rogers provided information about the case. According to tradition, Hale spent the night in a greenhouse at the mansion. He requested a Bible; his request was denied. Sometime later, he requested a clergyman. Again, the request was denied.

According to the standards of the time, spies were hanged as illegal combatants. On the morning of September 22, 1776, Hale was marched along Post Road to the Park of Artillery, which was next to a public house called the Dove Tavern (at modern-day 66th Street and Third Avenue), and hanged. He was 21 years old. Bill Richmond, a 13-year-old former slave and Loyalist who later became a boxer in Europe, was reportedly one of the hangmen, responsible for securing the rope to a strong tree and preparing the noose.

Washington XII-18
Nathan Hale appeared on US postage stamps issued in 1925 and 1929. Likeness is from statue by Bela Lyon Pratt.

By all accounts, Hale comported himself eloquently before the hanging. Over the years, there has been some speculation as to whether he specifically uttered the line: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” The line may be a revision of “I am so satisfied with the cause in which I have engaged that my only regret is that I have not more lives than one to offer in its service.”

Washington XII-19
British hang spy Nathan Hale in New York City, 1776.

The story of Hale’s quote began with John Montresor, a British officer who witnessed the hanging. Soon after the execution, Montresor spoke with the American officer William Hull about Hale’s death. Later, it was Hull who widely publicized Hale’s use of the phrase. Because Hull was not an eyewitness to Hale’s speech, some historians have questioned the reliability of the account.

If Hale did not give the quote, it is possible he instead repeated a passage from Joseph Addison‘s play Cato, an ideological inspiration to many Whigs:

How beautiful is death, when earn’d by virtue!
Who would not be that youth? What pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country.

No official records were kept of Hale’s speech. However, Frederick MacKensie, a British officer, wrote this diary entry for the day:

He behaved with great composure and resolution, saying he thought it the duty of every good Officer, to obey any orders given him by his Commander-in-Chief; and desired the Spectators to be at all times prepared to meet death in whatever shape it might appear.

It is almost certain that Nathan Hale’s last speech contained more than one sentence. Several early accounts mention different things he said. These are not necessarily contradictory, but rather, together they give an idea of what the speech must have been like. (The following quotes are all taken from George Dudley Seymour’s book, Documentary Life of Nathan Hale, published in 1941 by the author.)

From the diary of Enoch Hale, Nathan’s brother, after he went to question people who had been present, October 26, 1776: “When at the Gallows he spoke & told them that he was a Capt in the Cont Army by name Nathan Hale.”

From the Essex Journal, February 13, 1777: “However, at the gallows, he made a sensible and spirited speech; among other things, told them they were shedding the blood of the innocent, and that if he had ten thousand lives, he would lay them all down, if called to it, in defence of his injured, bleeding Country.”

From the Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser, May 17, 1781: “I am so satisfied with the cause in which I have engaged, that my only regret is, that I have not more lives than one to offer in its service.”

From the memoirs of Captain William Hull, quoting British Captain John Montresor, who was present and who spoke to Hull under a flag of truce the next day:

“On the morning of his execution,” continued the officer, “my station was near the fatal spot, and I requested the Provost Marshal [William Cunningham] to permit the prisoner to sit in my marquee, while he was making the necessary preparations. Captain Hale entered: he was calm, and bore himself with gentle dignity, in the consciousness of rectitude and high intentions. He asked for writing materials, which I furnished him: he wrote two letters, one to his mother and one to a brother officer. He was shortly after summoned to the gallows. But a few persons were around him, yet his characteristic dying words were remembered. He said, ‘I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.’”

Two early ballads also attempt to recreate Hale’s last speech. Songs and Ballads of the Revolution, collected by F. Moore (1855) contained the “Ballad of Nathan Hale” (anonymous), dated 1776: “Thou pale king of terrors, thou life’s gloomy foe, Go frighten the slave; go frighten the slave; Tell tyrants, to you their allegiance they owe. No fears for the brave; no fears for the brave;” and “To the Memory of Capt. Nathan Hale” by Eneas Munson, Sr., was written soon after Hale’s death:

“Hate of oppression’s arbitrary plan,
The love of freedom, and the rights of man;
A strong desire to save from slavery’s chain
The future millions of the western main,
And hand down safe, from men’s invention cleared,
The sacred truths which all the just revered;
For ends like these, I wish to draw my breath,”
He bravely cried, “or dare encounter death.”
And when a cruel wretch pronounced his doom,
Replied, “‘Tis well, —for all is peace to come;
The sacred cause for which I drew my sword
Shall yet prevail, and peace shall be restored.
I’ve served with zeal the land that gave me birth,
Fulfilled my course, and done my work on earth;
Have ever aimed to tread that shining road
That leads a mortal to the blessed God.
I die resigned, and quit life’s empty stage,
For brighter worlds my every wish engage;
And while my body slumbers in the dust,
My soul shall join the assemblies of the just.”

Munson had tutored Hale before college, and knew him and his family well, so even though the particulars of this speech may be unlikely, Munson knew firsthand what Hale’s opinions were.

Washington XII-20
Nathan Hale statue flanked by Yale servicemen, Yale campus, New Haven, Connecticut, November 1917.



3. Charles Lee (6 February 1732– 2 October 1782) served as a general of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence. He also served earlier in the British Army during the Seven Years War. He sold his commission after the Seven Years War and served for a time in the Polish army of King Stanislaus II.

Lee moved to North America in 1773 and bought an estate in Virginia. When the fighting broke out in the American War of Independence in 1775, he volunteered to serve with rebel forces. Lee’s ambitions to become Commander in Chief of the Continental Army were thwarted by the appointment of George Washington to that post.

During 1776, forces under his command repulsed a British attempt to capture Charleston, which boosted his standing with the army and Congress. Later that year, he was captured by British cavalry under Banastre Tarleton; he was held by the British as a prisoner until exchanged in 1778. During the decisive Battle of Monmouth later that year, Lee led an assault on the British that miscarried. He was subsequently court-martialed and his military service brought to an end. He died in Philadelphia in 1782.

Lee was born on February 6, 1732 [26 January 1731] in Dernhall, Cheshire, England, the son of Major General John Lee and his wife Isabella Bunbury (daughter of Sir Henry Bunbury, 3rd Baronet). He was sent to King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds, a free grammar school, and later to Switzerland, where he became proficient in several languages, including Latin, Greek, and French. His father was Colonel of the 55th Foot (later renumbered the 44th) when he purchased a commission on April 9, 1747 for Charles as an entry-level ensign in the same regiment.

After completing his schooling, Lee reported for duty with his regiment in Ireland. Shortly after his father’s death, on 2 May 1751 he received (or purchased) a Lieutenant‘s commission in the 44th. He was sent with the regiment to North America in 1754 for service in the French and Indian War under Major General Edward Braddock, in what was a front for the Seven Years War between Britain and France. He was with Braddock at his defeat at the Battle of the Monongahela in 1755. During this time in America, Lee married the daughter of a Mohawk Indian chief. His wife (name unknown) gave birth to twins. Lee was known to the Mohawk, who were allies of the English, as Ounewaterika or “Boiling Water”.

On 11 June 1756 Lee purchased a Captain’s commission in the 44th for the sum of £900. The following year he took part in an expedition against the French fortress of Louisbourg, and on 1 July 1758 he was wounded in a failed assault on Fort Ticonderoga. He was sent to Long Island to recuperate. A surgeon whom he had earlier rebuked and thrashed attacked him. After recovering, Lee took part in the capture of Fort Niagara in 1759and Montreal in 1760. This brought the war in the North American theater to an end by completing the Conquest of Canada.

Lee went back to Europe, transferred to the 103rd Foot as a major, and served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Portuguese army. He fought against the Spanish invasion of Portugal (1762) and distinguished himself under John Burgoyne at the Battle of Vila Velha.

He returned to England in 1763 following the Peace of Paris, which ended the Seven Years’ War. His regiment was disbanded and he was retired on half pay as a Major. In May 1772, although still inactive, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

In 1765 Lee fought in Poland, serving as an aide-de-camp under King Stanislaus II. After many adventures he came home to England. Unable to secure promotion in the British Army, in 1769 he returned to Poland and saw action in the Russo-Turkish War. He lost two fingers in a duel in which he killed his opponent.

Returning to England again, he found that he was sympathetic to the American colonists in their quarrel with Britain. He moved to the colonies in 1773 and in 1775 purchased an estate worth £3,000 in Berkeley County, near the home of his friend Horatio Gates. This area is now part of West Virginia. He spent ten months travelling through the colonies and acquainting himself with patriots

Washington XII-21
Lee as depicted in Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography.

When war appeared inevitable he resigned his Royal commission and volunteered his services to the colonies. He expected to be named Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, as he was the most experienced candidate in terms of military service. On the other hand, he was born in Britain, somewhat eccentric, slovenly in appearance, coarse in language, and perhaps most of all, he wanted to be paid: by joining the rebellion, he forfeited all his properties in England, and wanted to be compensated.

George Washington was sober, steady, calm, and best of all, would work without pay. Washington also was a good political choice: a southern commander to pair with a primarily New England fighting force. Washington received the appointment, and Lee was offered the subordinate rank of Major General. Because of this, Lee had nothing but the utmost disdain for his superior. He once remarked, “Washington is not fit enough to command a Sergeant’s Guard”. Lee was often considered second in command of the Continental forces, although Artemas Ward, who was not in good health, officially held this position.

During the encampment at Valley Forge in late 1777 and early 1778, Lee’s headquarters was at the David Harvard House.

Lee also received various other titles: in 1776, he was named Commander of the so-called Canadian Department, although he never got to serve in this capacity. He was appointed as the first Commander of the Southern Department. He served in this post for six months, until he was recalled to the main army. During his time in the South, the British sent an expedition under Henry Clinton to recover Charleston, South Carolina. Lee oversaw the fortification of the city. Fort Sullivan was a fortification built out of palmetto logs, later named for Commander Col. William Moultrie. Lee ordered the army to evacuate the fort because as he said it would only last thirty minutes and all soldiers would be killed. Governor John Rutledge forbade Moultrie to evacuate and the fort held. The spongy palmetto logs repelled the cannonball from the British ships. The assault on Sullivan’s Island was driven off, and Clinton abandoned his attempts to capture the city. Although the credit of the defense was not Lee’s, he was called “hero of Charleston”.

When Lee arrived in New York to join General Washington and the main part of the Continental Army, Washington chose to show his appreciation by changing the name of Fort Constitution, which was located on the New Jersey side of the Hudson opposite Fort Washington, to Fort Lee. General Lee was a very popular general officer among not only the army, but Congress. Toward the end of 1776, Lee’s animosity for Washington began to show. During the retreat from forts Washington and Lee, he dawdled with his army, and intensified a letter campaign to convince various Congress members that he should replace Washington as Commander-in-Chief.

Although his army was supposed to join that of Washington’s in Pennsylvania, Lee set a very slow pace. On the night of December 12, Lee and a dozen of his guard inexplicably stopped for the night at White’s Tavern in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, some three miles from his main army. The next morning, a British patrol of two dozen mounted soldiers found Lee writing letters in his dressing gown, and captured him. Among the members of the British patrol was Cornet Banastre Tarleton and William Harcourt, 3rd Earl Harcourt. Lee returned to service a couple of years later after he was exchanged for General Richard Prescott.

During the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778, Washington needed a secondary commander to lead the frontal assault. He unwillingly chose to put Lee in charge, as he was the most senior of his generals. At first, Lee was so reluctant to take part in the attack that Washington bestowed command onto Marquis de Lafayette. Upon this, Lee had a change of heart and requested that Lafayette cede command, which he gladly did. Washington ordered him to attack the retreating enemy, but instead, Lee ordered a retreatafter only one volley of fire. After seeing this, Lafayette sent a messenger to Washington informing him of this behavior. Lee’s troops retreated directly into Washington and his troops, who were advancing, and Washington dressed him down publicly. Lee responded with insubordination for which he was arrested.

On 2 July 1778, Lee was court-martialled at Brunswick, New Jersey by a jury presided by Lord Stirling on three charges: 1. disobedience of orders in not attacking the enemy; 2. misbehavior before the enemy in making an unnecessary, disorderly, and shameful retreat; 3. disrespect to the commander-in-chief. Lee was found guilty, and he was relieved of command for a period of one year. (In his Narrative, Joseph Plumb Martin recounted that Washington rode up during the retreat and asked Martin’s officers “by whose order the troops [were] retreating”. He was told that it was “by Gen. Lee’s”, and he said something that Martin wasn’t close enough to hear. Martin was told later by those who had been close enough that Washington had said “damn him!” as he rode off, which Martin found unusual but plausible since Washington had been “in a great passion” because of the retreat.)

It is not clear that Lee had made a bad strategic decision; he believed himself outnumbered (which he was; British commander Sir Henry Clinton had 10,000 troops to Lee’s 5,440) and that a retreat was reasonable. But he disobeyed orders, and he publicly expressed disrespect to his Commander in Chief Washington had wanted to test the abilities of Lee’s troops, since they were among the first to be trained in European tactics by Baron von Steuben.

Some historians have suggested that Lee may have retreated at the Battle of Monmouth as part of a plan to aid the British. While Lee was being held prisoner by British General Sir William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe in March 1777, he drafted a plan for British military operations against the Americans. At the time, Lee was under a threat of being tried as a deserter from the British Army because he hadn’t resigned his British commission as Lieutenant-Colonel until several days after he accepted an American commission. The plan in Lee’s handwriting was found in the Howe family archives in 1857.

Lee tried to get Congress to overturn the court-martial‘s verdict. When this failed, he made open attacks on Washington’s character. Lee’s popularity then plummeted. Colonel John Laurens, an aide to Washington, challenged him to a duel, in which Lee was wounded in his side. He was challenged to many more duels. Lee was released from his duty on January 10, 1780.

He retired to his estate in the Shenandoah Valley where he bred horses and dogs. While visiting Philadelphia, he was stricken with fever and died in a tavern on October 2, 1782. He was buried there in the churchyard of Christ Church. Lee left his property to his sister, Sidney Lee, who died unmarried in 1788.

Fort Lee, New Jersey, on the west side of the Hudson River (across the water from Fort Washington, New York) was named for him during his life. Lee, Massachusetts, Lee, New Hampshire and Lee town, West Virginiawere also named for him.

Washington XII-22
Lee was very fond of dogs, and was seldom seen without half a dozen at his heels.
2017-11-24 10:33:11